Canal Street building targeted for hotel catering to hospital complex

Posted on: May 8 2015

By Katherine Sayre, | The Times-Picayune 

A vacant building across from the $2 billion Mid-City hospital complex has been targeted for a new hotel catering to patients and their families.

The five-story office building at 2001 Canal St. has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina.

"Our goal is to put this building into commerce by converting [it] into a hotel, providing much needed accommodation for patients, families and veterans using the University Medical Center and the VA hospital," said developers' letter to neighbors in announcing their plans.

The development is being led by Dr. Narinder Gupta, who declined to comment Thursday (May 7). The building's owner, 2001 Canal Blvd. LLC, is also registered to Jagan and Neel Gupta, according to state records.

They want to add two floors to the five-story building for between 122 and 132 rooms in a "European boutique" style hotel, according to the letter. Architectural renderings of the renovated building show the name "Hotel Loren."

Developers need a conditional use permit for a hotel and permission to increase the height. 

Room rates would be discounted for veterans and their families who can prove a need, developers said in filings. Valet parking would be offered through a contractor.

The project is set to go before the City Planning Commission on May 26.

The $1 billion University Medical Center is slated to open in August, while the $1 billion Veterans Affairs hospital next door is scheduled to launch next year.