Updated Apr 24, 4:05 PM; Posted Apr 24, 3:04 PM
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The exterior of The Eliza Jane, a new boutique hotel under the Hyatt flag in the Central Business District. A development team led by Rockbridge and HRI Properties oversaw the project.
Eliza Jane Nicholson, who in 1876 became the first female publisher of a major metropolitan newspaper, The Daily Picayune, is back in the spotlight, this time as the inspiration behind one of the Hyatt's newest hotels in New Orleans.
The Eliza Jane, a new 196-room hotel at 315 Magazine St., opened after a redevelopment of the hotel property, which spans nine historic warehouses on that block. In addition to guest rooms, the project includes a restaurant and bar, more than 1,700 square feet of event space and a 2,000-square-foot, open-air interior courtyard expected to open in June.
Developers Rockbridge and HRI Properties purchased the property, formerly a Country Inn & Suites, for $39 million in December 2016 with plans for major renovations and a brand overhaul.
The result is The Eliza Jane, which takes its name from the Picayune publisher and plays up the history of the building in its design. According to the development team, the buildings that now make up the hotel used to house The Daily Picayune as well as a Peychaud Bitters factory and the Gulf Baking Soda company, among other tenants. Its design "creatively showcases this rich history, giving guests and locals alike a glimpse into centuries-old stories and a feel of old New Orleans charm," according to a news release.
Many of the guest rooms highlight the hotel's original brick walls and wooden ceiling beams. The suites come with names inspired by the newsroom, including the Editor's Suite and Publisher's Suite.
The hotel restaurant, a French brasserie named Couvant, will open this summer and feature a menu with "a modern twist on classic French fare," the release said. The Press Room, a lobby bar, is open now and serves cocktails amid a marble fireplace, antique furnishing, old typewriters and books and other decor that nods to the newspaper theme.
The Eliza Jane is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt Hotels Corp., which includes boutique properties in Austin, Phoenix and Miami Beach.