Katrina-doused hotel project to go condo. It was just one month before Hurricane Katrina pounded New Orleans that developers embarked on converting the 96-year-old Audubon office building on Canal Street into a 201-room Hilton French Quarter Hotel. Now that conversion is, well, under conversion. Carbone Properties LLC of Cleveland stepped back after the storm and reevaluated the market. The answer, according to Director of Development James Haas, is to convert the building into a 102-unit condominium complex rather than open a hotel and enter the still-jittery hospitality market.
Newest building trend: H2otels. A massive project in Hoffman Estates, Ill., seeks to capitalize on two trends: water parks and selling hotel rooms as condominiums. The developer, Joseph Buralli, said neither of those markets is saturated. Buralli runs Waterpark H2otels USA, which plans to pair a roughly 400-room hotel/condo with a water park on 22 acres. He needs zoning approval from the village, but doesn't expect his request will make waves. He hopes to open in 2008.
Pittsburgh city council proposes green building requirements. Build green, build more. That's the gist of a proposal before the Pittsburgh city council that would provide incentives to developers to incorporate environmentally friendly features into new buildings. Developers that build LEED-certified structures in industrial or commercial areas would be allowed to build 20% higher and include 20% more floor space under the plan.
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