BREAKING: Owners of Capital One tower settle with insurers

Published 5:30 pm Monday, January 9, 2023

The owners of the Capital One building have finally reached a settlement with their insurance company. Hurricane Laura obliterated many of the tower’s windows in August 2020. Missing glass was replaced by plywood, making the area’s tallest building an eyesore.  The Capital One bank location in the tower was closed prior to the hurricane.

In the early months, following Hurricane Laura and Delta, the city of Lake Charles administration got actively involved in developments surrounding the tower’s owner, the Hertz Corporation, which is based in Florida.

The city remained firm in its position. While it would love to see the iconic building rehabilitated, the worst-case scenario was for the building to remain in its current form for an extended period of time with no end in sight, Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said.

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In an effort to protect the interest of the city, it did intervene in Hertz’s lawsuit against its insurance company. After much negotiation, the city and Hertz agreed to placing $7 million in an escrow account controlled by the city. This money is available to demolish the structure if Hertz does not repair the curtain wall/window replacement or if Hertz does not demolish the building on its own.

“Hertz has two years from the end of November 2022 to make the repairs or demolish the building,” Hunter said. “Thereafter, the escrow funds can be used for fines and/or demolition expenses. We understand an agreement was reached. The city and Hertz continue to discuss the future of the building to facilitate rehabilitation or demolition.”