Almost six years after it was destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans is set to reopen after a $275 million redesign and revitalization. To celebrate, executives have announced a partnership with Brad Pitt's Make It Right foundation, which seeks to build 150 sustainable, storm-resistant homes in New Orleans' devastated Lower 9th Ward.
Right now, the organization is halfway to that number, having built some 75 homes since the program left the design stage in 2008. The new partnership with Hyatt includes a push to build the remaining number with an immediate donation of $300,000 for two homes.
“After Hurricane Katrina, many people said the Lower 9th Ward could not be rebuilt, but the spirit of the Lower Ninth and its residents is vibrant and resilient. Today, the neighborhood is growing and alive with new homes, playgrounds, gardens and block parties," said Brad Pitt, who founded Make It Right. "With the help of generous partners like Hyatt, Make It Right will fulfill our goal of building 150 sustainable homes for those in this community who lost everything in the storm."
To celebrate the re-opening of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, the hotel is throwing a charity gala called “A Night To Make It Right” with famous faces, major entertainers, philanthropists and business leaders expected to attend. Brad Pitt will host the event.
Hyatt Regency General Manager Michael Smith told the Fox8Live that he was inspired by the actions of the 47-year-old actor and wanted to do something to assist. "I saw what he was doing, so he had me hooked. We made a pledge to start an eight-month long campaign to raise enough money, as much money as possible to build the remainder of the homes."
For more information on the event, check out the official "A Night To Make It Right" here. It's estimated that the organization will need a bit over $11 million to secure funding for the remaining homes.