Luxury hotel company Salamander Hotels & Resorts is converting the former New Orleans Public Service, Inc.’s CBD headquarters into the NOPSI Hotel, which they plan to open in Spring 2017.
Connecticut-based developers Building and Land Technology bought the properties at 317 Baronne St. in February 2015 for $11.6 million, and in January got the OK from the Historic Districts Landmarks Commission to proceed with the plans.
Construction on the hotel is "well underway," and seeks to return the space to its "previous splendor." The renovation will preserve some original details of the old utility building designed by Favrot and Livaudais, including its facade, cast iron rails, and stone panels. The renovation will also include the conversion of an adjacent brick building, known as the Dryades building, into an "industrially elegant" 4,000 square-foot meeting and event space that will use a 24-foot-high crane and track preserved from the building as decor.
The 217-room hotel will include a grand lobby, a ground-floor restaurant and bar called Public Service, and a rooftop pool and bar. Woodward Design + Build is the architect on the project, and the interior designer is Kent Interior Design from Atlanta.
The hotel’s name seemingly seeks to capitalize on the nostalgia from the "thousands of manhole covers [that] still bear the NOPSI name." In the press release for the hotel, Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, says:
"It’s especially exciting to see a historic building used in such an exceptional fashion, and we’re thrilled to reintroduce the word ‘NOPSI’ to our city’s vocabulary."