Businesses with same owner as Hard Rock Hotel file for demolition permits

Updated: Dec. 20, 2019 at 7:30 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Historic buildings next to the Hard Rock site may come down with the hotel.

The owners of three buildings right next to the Hard Rock collapse site on Canal Street filed requests for demolition permits earlier this month.

The buildings are considered to be in the "red zone."

"The applicants for demolition need to demonstrate a thorough and definite need to demolish any more structures on Canal Street," Erin Holmes, Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates Executive Director Erin Holmes said.

According to the Secretary of State's website, two of the buildings are connected to the owners of the Hard Rock sites.

State records show the two buildings and the Hard Rock are owned by businesses with the same officer or owner, Chandra Kailas.

Another building attached to the hotel on Iberville is listed under The Bradley Law Firm.

In the demolition application, the owners argue demolition of the structures are necessary to facilitate demolition of the Hard Rock site.

"That was when W.T. Grant took over and they added these transom lights there to light the store," Nathan Lott, Preservation Resource Center Policy Research Director & Advocacy Coordinator said.

Preservationists explained the historical significance of the buildings, dating back to the 1800s.

"A walk down Canal Street really tells the history of our city, and on this block in particular, we had history being made through sit-ins at the drug stores on either end during the Civil Rights Era, one of which is gone now, one of which remains and will be renovated," Lott said.

He said two of the three buildings owners want demolished, were fundamental to the early jazz and film scene in New Orleans.

"We also had in these two particular buildings, a lot of history associated with music and with film. so the Alamo Theater was opened in 1908, and that was in the building that was later rubensteins and is immediately adjacent to the Hard Rock Hotel site," Lott said.

According to the applications filed, the demolition of 1027 Canal Street would cost close to $40,000, and the estimated cost for 1019 Canal Street is almost $85,000.

Because the buildings are historic, the city's Planning Commission needs to approve demolition and public hearings need to be held.

"The public plays a very active role. Organizations and individuals are watchdogs for our historic heritage. The process depends so much on the public being aware and engaging," Holmes said.

The Historic District Landmarks Commission Director confirmed it did receive the demolition applications from the owner of the Hard Rock Hotel.

The permit request is scheduled to be taken up during the commission’s meeting next month.

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