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DEQ controls when former hotel can be implode 

  The former Grand Palace Hotel on Canal Street at Interstate 10, which is in the footprint of the new LSU/VA medical complex, still doesn't have a new demolition date, according to Ryan Berni, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Implosion of the building was delayed twice late last year, first after the former owners claimed improper expropriation, and again after state officials expressed concern about remediating possibly hazardous materials on the property. Now the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) must sign off on the implosion before it can happen.

  Meanwhile, piecemeal deconstruction of the 17-story building is underway, with many of the exterior walls removed. The adjacent medical center site between South Claiborne and South Galvez avenues is already under construction. When the former hotel is taken down, the land beneath it will sit on the northeast corner of the planned teaching hospital.

  The Grand Palace Hotel fell into disrepair around the turn of the 20th century and never reopened after Hurricane Katrina. A neighboring building, the Canal Street Hotel (located on the other side of I-10) has been closed for several years and had been known as a crime hot spot.

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