Buildings in the downtown area are slowly being worked on. Driving to work this afternoon, I noticed the First Federal Building had a crew working on the outside. Honestly, it made me happy to see some progress in the downtown area. To some, it looks like nothing has been done at all. However, after seeing what the area looked like the day after Laura, I can say without a doubt the area of downtown Lake Charles looks much better than it did months ago. That is, until you make the turn and see the Capital One building.

With lumber as high as it is, some would joke that the sheets of plywood covering the holes where the famous green glass was on the Capital One building has increased in value many times over. Still, it is not the prettiest thing to look at. The weather-worn sheets are starting to turn grey and black as they have fought back against a second hurricane, a freeze, and almost 15 inches of rain since they were installed. The question still remains, what is exactly going on with it?

You could turn to Facebook for answers, although I don't recommend it. One local Facebook group jumped on the topic and commenters began to give inside information they got from a friend's cousin's uncle that once painted an office inside the tower. One commenter heard it would be luxury apartments, one said Section 8 housing, another said they heard the frame of the building had been twisted during the hurricane and was a total loss. Before I move on, I am not saying any of this is true or false. I will say, personally, it all seems a bit drastic.

What I can tell you is Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter did speak to the owners, Hertz Investment Group, and he was told they were waiting on insurance to come through in order to begin repairs to the building. Granted, that doesn't sound as cool as some of the wild social media speculation, but it does seem to be the case.

Case seems to be the appropriate word, actually. Hertz Investment Group LLC and Hertz Lake Charles One LLC have opened a case against American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co. and Zurich American Insurance Co. According to pacermonitor.com, the suit was filed on February 26, 2021.

It seems a motion was passed for an extension to be granted to the case multiple times, with the final extension being filed on April 30. The entry made says all parties involved have until June 1 to compete their jurisdictional discovery. It also says a court date has been assigned in Lafayette on June 29 at 1:30pm before Judge James D. Cain.

So what is going on? A lawsuit, it seems, between the building's owners and insurance company. Sound familiar?

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