Four Seasons’ Debut in New Orleans

Carpenter & Co. and Woodward Interests are converting the long-vacant World Trade Center New Orleans into a luxury hotel with upper floors for private residences.

World Trade Center New Orleans. Image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts plans to open the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans, its first property in the Big Easy, in downtown New Orleans in late 2020.

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The new hotel will be located within the long-vacant World Trade Center New Orleans, formerly known as the International Trade Mart, designed by Edward Durell Stone back in the 1970s. The 33-story building closed in 2011, after which it was bought by the City of New Orleans. The 2-acre site at 2 Canal St. is adjacent to the Morial Convention Center, Audubon Aquarium, Harrah’s Casino and the French Quarter. The property is owned by Two Canal Owner LLC, in which developers Carpenter & Co. Inc. and Woodward Interests LLC are partners.

The building will undergo extensive renovations, which will bring a new podium and public spaces. The hotel will feature 341 guestrooms, along with meeting and event spaces, four food and drink outlets, retail spaces, spa facilities and a rooftop pool. The 92 Private Residences will take up the building’s top floors, from the 19th through the 31st floor.

A Four Seasons spokesperson declined to disclose a dollar figure for the project, while media reports have estimated the cost at about $450 million.

Steady growth

Richard Friedman, president & CEO of Carpenter & Co., noted that the two companies have worked together for many years, most recently on the One Dalton Street project in Boston. That development, which consists of a 215-key Four Seasons hotel and 160 residences, topped off in August 2018 and opened this past June.

The New Orleans hotel market saw ADR growth of 1.2 percent over the past 12 months, and is generally considered to be an average performer, according to a fourth-quarter report from Newmark Knight Frank. Over the next few years, the city’s hotels nonetheless should benefit from upcoming sports events (such as the January 2020 college football championship game), the addition of 35 gates to the airport and improvements at the Morial Convention Center, the report added.

On Oct. 12, the partial collapse of a 350-key Hard Rock Hotel that had been under construction killed three workers. The owners announced last month that they intend to demolish the badly damaged structure.

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