Benson Tower in the News

23 December 2009

Read an update on the Benson Tower project.

Daily Journal of Commerce

Benson readies N.O. tower

Daily Journal of Commerce

28 December 2009

NEW ORLEANS — Saints owner Tom Benson will spend more than $12 million to prepare the floors he plans to lease to the state at the office building that now bears his name.

A building permit filed Nov. 23 indicates about $691,000 will be spent on each of the 17 floors the state will lease at Benson Tower as part of terms to keep the Saints in New Orleans through 2025.

Woodward+Design+Build of New Orleans is overseeing the overhaul of the building, and Holly & Smith Architects of Hammond is designing the layout for state offices on the fourth floor and sixth through 21st floors.

The remaining floors will be leased to private sector tenants through Zelia LLC, the Benson family company that owns the 26-story office building at 1450 Poydras St., the adjoining former New Orleans Centre mall site and parking garage.

Stephanie Guass Ory, a Woodward designer, said Zelia likely will upgrade the existing walls on one of the private floors and gut another floor to provide showcases for potential tenants.

“There’s cleanup work still going on now, and there’s still work to be done on the core and shell,” Ory said, referring to the exterior and common areas such as the lobby and elevators.

There are no health threats such as mold, but the roof on the 20-year-old building has to be replaced, Ory said.

The Benson family bought the buildings next to the Louisiana Superdome in September for $42.1 million from Hertz Investment Group of Los Angeles. Their plans call for spending $10.5 million to build an entertainment venue in the atrium of the former New Orleans Centre across from the Superdome concourse bridge.

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