NEW ORLEANS US Thrill Rides announced today that it executed a development agreement with Two Canal Street Investors Inc, currently a finalist in the RFP process to re-development the iconic World Trade Center building at the foot of Canal Street in New Orleans. The Company stated that in the event that Two Canal Street Investors is selected by the New Orleans Building Corporation to re-develop the WTC building the two entities will join together to build the largest observation attraction in the Southern Gulf Region. Two Canal Street Investors’ five-star plans for redeveloping the legendary Edward Durell Stone signature skyline structure include construction of the Tricentennial Tower for a dramatic and memorable family entertainment experience.
The proposed 320-foot-tall structure planned for the New Orleans downtown riverfront area, to be named the New Orleans Tricentennial Tower, will feature a tower-twisting double-helix gondola viewing experience as well as a sky-high restaurant and observation deck. The intended height and downtown Riverfront location at the foot of Canal Street will provide breathtaking 360-degree views of the city’s French Quarter, Commercial Business District, Mississippi River and greater New Orleans area. The Tower will be ADA compliant and built to withstand Category 5 hurricane wind velocity. Perez, APC of New Orleans, Angela O’Byrne and Pio Lyons are the local architects of record.
The New Orleans Tricentennial Tower would be designed to create an iconic experience for visitors, much like the Seattle’s Space Needle or England’s London Eye, both of which have been highly successful tourist-destination attractions for decades.
“The Seattle Space Needle hosts well over one million visitors per year,” said Michael Kitchen, president of US Thrill Rides. “US Thrill Rides, Two Canal Street Investors and our additional investor partners believe that a New Orleans’s Tricentennial Tower on the Riverfront would quickly become one of the city’s most popular visitor attractions.”
Kitchen says the Aquarium of the Americas, situated next to the World Trade Center Building and the proposed site for the Tower, already draws in excess of 1.5 million annual visitors. He predicts that his Tower could help the City of New Orleans reach its overall goal of 15 million annual visitors.
In addition to the gondola experience and the restaurant level, the group also plans a multi- million dollar “New Orleans 360 Interactive Experience, in association with the “Louisiana Maritime Museum,” to be located on a 300-foot high observation-deck level. Visitors will be presented with a cutting edge, virtual reality tour experience that guides them through the history of New Orleans.
“The concept would create a very high quality, 360 degree panoramic viewing experience, a thoroughly immersive journey through New Orleans’ history from the city’s 1718 founding through its 300th birthday celebration in 2018,” explained Kitchen.
US Thrill Rides, with its 25-year history of creating highly successful and iconic attractions for theme parks and tourist destinations around the world, is very bullish about the success of the New Orleans location. “We are enormously excited about bringing this anticipated project to the community,” says Michael Kitchen. “New Orleans is a city that we have long set our sights on for a tower attraction.”
Kitchen says that the Tricentennial Tower has been on the drawing board for quite some time, and is now one step closer to becoming a reality for the City of New Orleans. Most importantly, he looks forward to meeting with Councilmembers LaToya Cantrell and Nadine Ramsey, as well as the other members of the City Council, Mayor Landrieu and his Economic Development team, and the appropriate authorities at the Regional Transit Authority and the Port of New Orleans. Kitchen believes that the observation attraction will further bolster redevelopment in the area, drive more tourist visitors to the Mississippi Riverfront and ultimately create community jobs and tax dollars.
The development team will complete the Tower construction in time for a grand opening during the City of New Orleans Tricentennial celebration festivities scheduled for 2018. If selected by the NOBC, Two Canal Street Investors, Inc. plans to redevelop the existing World Trade Center building into the five-star luxury Hotel Alessandra New Orleans, a 318-room hotel, contemporaneous with approximately 200 Hotel Alessandra luxury-branded rental apartments. Plans for the $228 million World Trade Center makeover project, separate from the adjacent co- developed Tricentennial Tower, will feature a world-class lobby, wine bar, named restaurants and revolving rooftop jazz club.
US Thrill Rides is based in Orlando, Florida and is one of the world’s leading attraction design/build companies, with extensive experience in developing and manufacturing amusement attractions around the globe.