September 7 2011 | Latest Newsby Maria Clark, New Media Specialist CityBusiness
September 7th, 2011
The Chateau Bourbon Hotel is getting a complete makeover courtesy of some new investors.
Carey Watermark Investors Inc. announced today it has closed on a joint venture of about $45.7 million with the hotel’s longtime owners, HRI Properties.
CWI will invest approximately $31.3 million in the complete renovation of the building at 800 Iberville St. The hotel will feature 254 rooms plus new stand-alone dining facilities. The exterior will be repainted, with new lighting and landscaping added. Renovations will begin in October and should be complete by May 2012.
The hotel will reopen as the Hyatt French Quarter Hotel, and an affiliate of HRI will continue to operate the property. Gary Gutierrez, HRI Lodging president, said that the hotel would remain open during renovations.
“We are going to do our best to section off zones so that the renovation will be kind of behind the scenes,” he said.
Built in 1849 as the D.H. Holmes department store, the building was immortalized in John Kennedy Toole’s novel “A Confederacy of Dunces.” After the store was closed in 1989 , the site reopened as a Chateau Sonesta in 1995. A statue of Ignatius K. Reilly, Toole’s protagonist, stands at the entrance and will remain after the hotel reopens next year.
“We are very cognizant of the personal attachment the hotel has on the city and we are working closely to embrace those historic elements,” Gutierrez said.