Architectural Concepts Inc. Joins Trump Design Team to Blueprint Condo Hotel

By Matthew Marin, Associate Editor New Orleans–Architectural Concepts Inc. (ACI), a full-service architectural and interior design firm, has joined the design team for one of the first high-rise buildings to be constructed in New Orleans in more than a quarter century. The firm’s design for the residences of Trump International Hotel and Tower New Orleans will attempt to capture the city’s historical roots and multi-cultural heritage with an air of quiet sophistication. Regarded as one of the nation’s top hospitality-oriented architectural and interior design firms, San Diego-based ACI is developing the interior design concept and the furniture design for the condo hotel, located in the city’s Central Business District, and its sales center. World-renowned Adache Group Architects, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, and New Orleans-based Harry Baker Smith Architects designed the structure. Florida developers David Brannen and Clifford Mowe will oversee the construction of the tower under the development group Poydras LLC.Trump’s 70-story, $400-million tower will include 435 condo-hotel units and 290 residences ranging from studios to five-bedroom units as well as a conference center and offices, fitness center and spa, restaurant, bar and lounge, two pools, and salon. The studio units range in size from 540 to 870 square feet. The initial price range is $395,000 to $548,000. One-bedroom suites range in size from 685 to 985 square feet, and the price range is $465,000 to $678,000.“We selected ACI’s design talent because of their reputation in designing an inspirational environment which not only maximizes space, setting and purpose, but delivers an intrinsically oriented product to New Orleans,” says David Brannen of Poydras LLC. “By the year 2010, we will have a phenomenal example of the reinvention of this city.”Signifying New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina, the building will be the tallest building in Louisiana. The décor will feature controlled palettes of neutral colors ranging from dark wood to light textiles with colors from New Orleans signature spices utilized as accents. An eclectic design will reflect the unique character of the city and will be highlighted using local artists as a way to support the local culture and ambiance.“Trump International Hotel and Tower will set the bar for the best of luxury living in the city,” says Kristine Steffen, director of interior design for ACI. “New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina has been slow, but it has not deterred Poydras from partnering with Donald Trump because they have a vision for the future for one of America’s greatest cities.” The sales office is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2008 in the Pan American Life Center adjacent to the new Tower site. Construction for the development is expected to take approximately 33 months. Donald Trump’s luxury hotel management company will manage the condo hotel.  As reported in MHN’s Inside the Deal section for the December issue, local developers Angelo Farrell and Lee Laporte are developing the first condo hotel in New Orleans, located on Royal Street in the French Quarter. The Cosmopolitan Hotel, which was a popular establishment in the Crescent City’s heyday, will be restored and adapted into 24 luxurious guest rooms and 103 condos inside an adjacent newly built tower. The project is being hailed as another significant rebuilding effort in post-Katrina New Orleans.