By Amalia Otet, Associate Editor
Carey Watermark Investors Inc., a real estate investment trust mainly focused on acquiring properties in the lodging and lodging-related sectors, recently closed on a joint venture investment of about $45.7 million in the historic hotel with HRI Properties of New Orleans, the original owner of the facility.
“We found the Chateau Bourbon Hotel to be ideal for ownership and renovation, as it is a landmark property that is well located in one of the strongest tourism markets in the country, and our joint investment with HRI will be at substantially below the hotel’s replacement value, allowing us to capitalize on the property’s full market potential,” said Michael Medzigian, CWI’s CEO, in a press release.
Built in 1849 as the D. H. Holmes department store and transformed into a hotel in 1995 by HRI Properties, Chateau Bourbon boasts a prime location at the corner of Bourbon and Canal streets, in the heart of the vibrant French Quarter. Within walking distance of the Central Downtown Business District and Morial Convention Center, and 13 miles away from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, the hotel is a perfect choice for visiting tourists and business travelers alike.
New modern food and beverage concepts will be added as part of the extensive renovation plan, as well as an increase in room count from 251 to 254. Restoration is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2012, when the hotel will be re-branded as the Hyatt French Quarter. An affiliate of HRI will continue to manage the property.
The lodging facility also features approximately 20,000 square feet of leased commercial space and an adjacent 300-stall parking garage.
In other news, the Daily World reports that the board supervising the development of a new public hospital in New Orleans has approved a business plan proposing a 424-bed, $1.1 billion facility. While being scheduled for opening in 2015, the project needs to be further approved by a legislative committee that is to review the financing scheme.