Renovation takes Pontchartrain Hotel into its prime

Posted on: May 19 2015

By: Robin Shannon, Managing Editor CityBusiness

Although their plan includes a complete top to bottom renovation, the new owners of the Pontchartrain Hotel said many of the well-known features of the storied property will stay the same.

AJ Capital Partners began work earlier this month on a more than $10 million overhaul of the historic 106-room hotel at 2031 St. Charles Ave. Rather than keep portions open to guests, the Chicago-based real estate investment firm opted to completely shutter the property until the project is finished.

“The plan is extensive and we just felt there was no way to have a positive guest experience keeping the hotel open,” said AJ Capital CEO Ben Weprin. “The finished product will be a re-introduction of what the hotel was in its prime.”

Weprin said there were 25 people employed at the hotel prior to its closure. AJ Capital has said it intends to rehire many of those employees when it reopens. The finished project will employ more than 100.

Weprin said the renovation work includes a complete overhaul of all guest rooms and common areas, including the Caribbean Room and The Bayou Bar. He said designs included input from an assortment of sources in an effort to get it right.

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