New Orleans Hotels Rebrand, Expand and Start Anew
- Sep 29, 2014
By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
It’s not breaking news that New Orleans is a thriving tourist hub. As such, hotel development is a big part of the city’s real estate business. Recently, a string of new hotel developments lit up the local real estate and tourism sectors.
With New Orleans short 3,000 hotel keys, the Lower Garden District’s Prytania Park Hotel is looking to fill up some of that need, reports The New Orleans Advocate. The 60-key hotel is set to kick off a two-phase 140-key expansion on adjacent vacant lots. The first phase will add 48 keys in a new guestroom building, while phase two will introduce an additional 90 in another structure. According to Canal Street Beat, both buildings will be five stories high. A 113-car, two-level parking facility, a rooftop garden and a Lula distillery restaurant will also be added. Upon its late 2015 or early 2016 completion, Prytania Park will rebrand as the Avenue Oaks Hotel.
Downtown’s O’Keefe Plaza Hotel will also rebrand, reports Canal Street Beat. The six-story, 129-key CBD hotel will undergo renovations to convert to a Holiday Inn Express. Renovations will target both exterior work, such as structural modifications of the roof, as well as interior work, such as guest room finishes and alterations to the lobby and breakfast area. O’Keefe Plaza was purchased in July by New York-based Garrison Investment Group for $10.75 million.
Another CBD hotel, The Cotton Exchange, is also headed toward rebranding. The 223-key property was selected by AC Hotels by Marriott as the brand’s first U.S. location, announced Canal Street Beat. The property will undergo a $12 million conversion that will add an urban air to the property, with a design inspired by Milan’s fashion world, while still preserving historic features such as the original glass windows, tiled lobby and marble archway.
If approved, a proposed 80-key hotel at 111 Iberville St. might break the French Quarter’s moratorium on new hotels, reported The Times-Picayune. The ban on new hotel development was implemented in 1969 to prevent The Quarter from turning into nothing more than a tourist zone. Developers Wayne and David Ducote plan on redeveloping a seven-story historic former sugar mill into an 80-key boutique hotel. The project would increase the property slightly from its current 37,900 square feet to 41,900 square feet by enlarging the ground and top floors. The enlargements would accommodate a restaurant, pool and office.
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