Ambassador Hotel headed for re-branding in nod to Warehouse District history

December 1 2014 | Latest News

Katherine Sayre, | The Times-Picayune By Katherine Sayre, | The Times-Picayune The Times-Picayune

The owners of The Ambassador Hotel in the Warehouse District are rebranding the property in a nod to the 160-year-old building's roots in port trade.

The rechristened Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery will open in the spring after a $14 million renovation. Development partners Provenance Hotels and GB Lodging bought the hotel at Tchoupitoulas and Lafayette streets last year. 

The new name references the building's former address and its history as a general trade warehouse -- or chandlery.

Before the turn of the 20th century, the warehouse's address was 77 Tchoupitoulas St. But the city later re-numbered its streets. 

The warehouse was once used for storing coffee beans. E.J. Hart & Co. bought the building for a general wholesale business, storing tobacco, canvas, paper, medicines and other products, according to the developers.  

 "New Orleans is a soulful city rooted in history and we specialize in distinctively local renovations of historic properties. But, even more enticing than that, this is a city in the midst of an entrepreneurial renaissance. We are honored and excited to be channeling that energy into The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in an artful, considered way," said Bashar Wali, Provenance Hotels president, in a statement.

The renovation will expand the property by a couple of rooms to a total of 167 rooms. The work will focus on the building's original elements, such as hardwood floors and exposed brick, developers said. 

Provenance Hotel's portfolio includes properties in the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle and Portland, and Nashville. GB Lodging also owns hotels in New York, Miami and Palm Springs, Calif. 

The partners bought the hotel in August 2013. The property was previously part of New Orleans tourism magnate Warren Reuther's portfolio.