Benson Tower was originally developed by the DeBartolo Corporation in the late 1980’s as the New Orleans Centre and is strategically situated at 1450 Poydras Street between the Superdome and the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The office tower component of the mixed-use property, which was formerly referred to as Dominion Tower, was operating at a nearly 90% occupancy rate before Hurricane Katrina and was home to such prominent local and regional tenants as Dominion Oil & Gas, McDermott, and Crescent Bank & Trust. The remaining portion of the property was operated as an upscale retail shopping center with a food court and an adjoining parking garage.
While the property did not flood during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Dominion Tower and the New Orleans Centre sustained significant wind damage, and the prior owner elected to vacate the property in lieu of renovating and re-tenanting it. The property remained vacant, with the exception of the former Lord & Taylor building which sustained minimal damage and was repaired and leased on a temporary emergency basis to the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans following the damage to their prior facility at Charity Hospital.