Cotton Exchange Takes a Trip to New Orleans25 Sep 2015, 1:12 pm
By Adelina Osan, Associate Editor
Cotton Exchange Investment Properties LLC, an affiliate of Pacific Hospitality Group, acquired the first AC Hotel by Marriott in North America.
The 220-room hotel is located in the historic Cotton Exchange building in downtown New Orleans, in close proximity to a range of dining and shopping venues in the city’s most iconic neighborhood. Boasting sweeping city views, the 8-story European-inspired boutique hotel offers a long list of guest amenities such as fitness center, business center, laundry facility, and over 2,200 square feet of meeting space, including the 1,901-square-foot ballroom.
“AC New Orleans is our first of many acquisitions into the high-end select service space whose new leader is AC Hotel by Marriott. This new lifestyle brand nicely complements our luxury hotels within the Meritage Collection and provides us the opportunity to diversify into new growth markets,” said in prepared remarks Kory Kramer, chief investment officer of Pacific Hospitality Group.
Bill Hodges and Michael DiPrima of Hodges Ward Elliott provided advisory services on the transaction. The Busch Firm and Stone Pigman provided legal counseling for the buyer, while Akin Gump advised the seller in the transaction.
Image courtesy of AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon/French Quarter Area
Carlson Hotel Opens in New Orleans15 Sep 2015, 3:11 pm
Leading upper-midscale hotel brand Country Inn & Suites By Carlson entered the New Orleans market with a new hotel located at 126 Taos St. in Slidell. The Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Slidell-New Orleans East will offer 75 guest rooms with a variety of suites and configurations.
“We are excited to announce the opening of this newly constructed hotel, one that features our brand’s latest design elements that capture the look and feel of a modern country home,” said in a prepared statement Jeffrey Freund, senior vice president, Midscale Brands, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “Country Inns & Suites By Carlson is committed to providing guests with a caring, comfortable and consistent hospitality experience all delivered with a touch of home and this new hotel will do just that.”
The Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Slidell-New Orleans East offers a range of amenities guests such as an outdoor saltwater pool, outdoor entertaining patio with fire pit, laundry facility on site and dry cleaning service, free high-speed internet access, 24-hour front desk and 24-hour fitness center. Nightly rates for the hotel start as low as $84.
Nearby local attractions for guests include Fremaux Town Center, North Shore Square, Oak Harbor Golf Club, Northshore Harbor Center and INFINITY Science Center.
Image courtesy of Country Inn & Suites By Carlson
Formosa Eyes St. James Parish for $9.4 Billion Industrial Complex9 Sep 2015, 11:02 am
By Adelina Osan, Associate Editor
Formosa Petrochemical Corp. is looking into St. James Parish to find room for an industrial complex worth approximately $9.4 billion. The company plans to build two project phases producing ethylene and a host of downstream chemical products.
The company’s decision to develop the project would affect Louisiana’s economy by creating 1,200 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $84,500, and an estimated of 8,000 new indirect jobs.
The State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that would include a $12 million performance-based grant to offset infrastructure costs, with the grant to be paid in four equal annual installments beginning in 2018, in order to secure the project.
“Formosa’s desire to develop a new world-scale chemical complex in Louisiana excites us on a number of levels. This tremendous capital investment signals that the many reforms we have installed to improve Louisiana’s business climate are succeeding—from our tax structure to workforce development programs to school choice and governmental ethics. This project also is a testament to Louisiana’s ability to deliver world-class infrastructure and logistics solutions that attract the world’s most important and innovative companies. Most important for our state, this major petrochemical investment will provide high-paying jobs for Louisiana families for generations to come. We look forward to Formosa’s final decision to embark on this game-changing project,” said Governor Jindal in prepared remarks.
If Formosa decides to move forward with the project, construction and development of the initial phase are planned for the beginning of 2016, with hiring starting 2018. Following the completion of the first phase, construction for the second-phase ethane cracker and downstream chemical plants could begin in 2022.
Photo credits: Formosa Petrochemical Corp.
Apartment Community near Big Easy Gets Financial Help14 Aug 2015, 12:08 pm
By Adelina Osan, Associate Editor
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated more than 70 percent of all housing units in and around New Orleans. Fast forward ten years, and The City that Care Forgot is well on its way to becoming one of the top urban centers in the U.S.—refinancing loan after refinancing loan.
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. provided a $15.7 million refinancing loan for The Crossings Apartments in Metairie. This refinancing was for the first commercial loan financed by Fannie Mae in the Katrina effected area following the storm in 2005.
Using Fannie Mae’s Early Rate Lock program to structure the fully leveraged, conventional 10-year loan with a 30-year amortization schedule, Walter & Dunlop provided refinance to show the endurance of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina and Fannie Mae’s support of this market immediately following the storm, through the national recession and continuing today.
Located at 2200 Severn Ave. and minutes away from downtown New Orleans, The Crossings Apartments community features 10 three-story apartment buildings adding up to 247 units. Recreational amenities include swimming pools and grilling stations.
“The recovery and growth of the Greater New Orleans area since Hurricane Katrina has been phenomenal. This has largely been made possible by the faith and support of lenders like Fannie Mae. Favrot & Shane’s long association with Walker & Dunlop has resulted in another successful collaboration at The Crossings Apartments. We greatly appreciate Stephen’s efforts and look forward to further business in the future,” said in a prepared statement James Favrot, President of Favrot & Shane Companies, Inc.
Image via Yardi Matrix
New Flagship Development – French Quarter to City Park Connector8 Jul 2015, 2:40 pm
By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor
As The City That Care Forgot approaches the fatidic date ten years ago when Hurricane Katrina left it 80 percent flooded, a nine-acre plot sale stands as sign of new development.
A local entrepreneur acquired the land along Bayou St. John in Mid-City. With approximately 380,000 square feet adjacent to the Lafitte Greenway, this is one of the most expansive continuous pieces of land readied for construction in the city.
Sidney Torres, owner of venture capital firm IV Capital, signed the largest transfer of mid-city land in decades and plans to turn it into a high-end mixed-use residential and commercial community with apartments and houses, kayaks and paddleboards along the bayou, fire pits on the bank, children’s playgrounds, as well as bike paths, a gymnasium, café, and boutique hotel. The purchase price was not disclosed by Torres and his business partners.
Torres is joined by Hicham Khods, owner of Camellia Grill who created the popular Nola restaurant in the French Quarter in collaboration with Emeril Lagasse, and entrepreneur and developer Joe Jaeger, owner of MCC Group.
“We have already been contacted by an experienced builder about developing two 80,000 square-foot parcels into apartments and we encourage people to bring their best ideas to the table,” Torres said. “This is an entirely new approach to development. If you have a great idea, Bayou St. John is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.”