Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Will Be Constructed in New Orleans

The much maligned and re-negotiated lease for the New Orleans World Trade Center finally has a viable tenant in the form of a world-renowned, international hotel chain – Four Seasons.  The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences will be constructed in New Orleans in the old World Trade Center Building with 2 additions to be added to either side of the building.  The Four Season group are partnered with Carpenter and Co. of Cambridge, MA, and Woodward Interests in New Orleans to completely renovate the structure, creating the addition of two wings to the side of the building as well.

Part of the attraction for the Four Season’s bid was the addition of the 76 hotel-serviced condos that would also be available for sale in addition to weekend, weekly, or monthly rentals.  The revenue of sales was a separate income item for the City of New Orleans.  The second attractive and unique part of their bid was their proposal for a “digital, immersive” experience for visitors who would want to visit an exhibit named New Orleans: History at the Confluence four-seasons-hotel-and-residencesof Cultures.  This exhibit would present a digital story-telling experience of the City of New Orleans and would be put together by Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard University professor of African-American studies, and Lawrence Powell, Tulane University history professor.

The financial ramifications of this project are far-reaching.  The construction of the hotel and condos would also contribute to the city’s tax revenues in construction payroll for the $364 million project which is $95 – $130 million higher than its competitors.  Of that amount approximately $127 million of the money is designated to go to minority-owned, women-owned, local, and disadvantaged businesses putting the money right back into the economy.  Along with the construction revenue in terms of payroll as well as building materials and supplies, the hotel would also pay the City of New Orleans a lease, locked in for 10 years of $3.25 million / year, increasing to $3.75 for the next year barring any significant increases in the tax threshold.  Also, percentages of the sales of the condos as well as the gross revenues of the digital exhibit would also be collected by the city, as well as any additional bonus revenue generating components of the hotel.

“In our estimation, in this case, we have both – picking the best cities and partnering with the best developers. I’m confident we will bring new visitors to the city and add to its already vibrant tourism,” said J. Allen Smith, Four Seasons president and CEO.

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