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April 29, 2013

Chesapeake Lodging Pays $65M for Second W Acquisition in April

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Annapolis, Md.-based Chesapeake Lodging Trust has acquired the 410-key W New Orleans from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. for $65 million.

The hotel’s 410 guest rooms include 22 large suites. Among its amenities are a 24-hour, 1,500-square-foot signature Sweat Fitness Center, signature WET outdoor rooftop pool complete with poolside cabana and TV sets and high-tech signature WIRED business center. In addition, its 13,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space comprises 13 flexible banquet and meeting rooms, with the largest space clocking in at 4,992 square feet. The 24-story hotel features two bars – the Living Room Bar and Whiskey Blue – as well as full-service on-site restaurant Zoë, offering Southern New Orleans cuisine.

The hotel’s 333 Poydras St. address locates it in Downtown New Orleans, in close proximity to the French Quarter with its world-famous jazz clubs, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Riverwalk Marketplace, Harrah’s Casino and the Warehouse District’s art galleries.

According to a press release, Chesapeake will embark on a $29 million repositioning renovation of the property, set to kick off in April 2014 with plans to minimize operational disruption. “Historically, we have not acquired many assets with significant renovation needs, yet we have a very talented team that can execute on this renovation and add value to the property” declared James Francis, president & CEO at Chesapeake. Planning for the renovation is currently underway, with work reportedly to include the addition of about 3,000 square feet of meeting space, relocation of the restaurant, new hard and soft goods in the guestrooms, as well as refreshing the Living Room lobby.

Starwood will stay on as property manager under a long-term contract.

W New Orleans is the second W-branded New Orleans hotel acquired by Chesapeake in April 2013. The company acquired the 97-key W of New Orleans – French Quarter earlier this month. Click here for further information about the transaction.

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Photo courtesy of W New Orleans’ Facebook page

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