The historic headquarters of the former New Orleans Public Service, Inc., (NOPSI) is being reinvented as a luxury 217-room hotel called NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans.
Located in the city’s Central Business District on the corner of Baronne and Union streets, the nine-story brick building originally opened in 1927. It will reopen as NOPSI Hotel in spring 2017 after a meticulous restoration returns each space to its previous splendor, including the building’s street facades, cast iron rails and stone panels.
The NOPSI Hotel will include some of the most refined accommodations in the city – including 74 suites – a regionally inspired restaurant, 10,000 square feet of architecturally significant indoor and outdoor meeting space, and a sophisticated rooftop pool and bar. www.NOPSIHotel.com.
The property’s developer is Building and Land Technology (BLT), a leading national real estate investor and developer. The NOPSI Hotel will be managed by luxury hotel company Salamander Hotels & Resorts.
A high point of the building’s transformation is a “Grand Hall” lobby entrance, featuring a 21-foot-high vaulted ceiling, graceful arches, ornamental columns, wood wall paneling, brass grills and terrazzo flooring.
The historic renovation also includes the conversion of the adjacent and former Dryades Building into the city’s most unique meeting and event space. At 4,000 square feet, this space will even include a preserved 24-foot high crane and track as part of its décor.
NOPSI is the acronym of New Orleans’ former utility company and transit operator. Thousands of manhole covers still bear the NOPSI name, adding a sense of nostalgia to many of The Crescent City’s streets. As befits the building’s history, the hotel will provide an energetic base from which to enjoy nearby cultural attractions, festivals, restaurants and nightlife.
Located in the heart of the Central Business District within a short walk of The French Quarter, The Warehouse District and The Garden District, the NOPSI Hotel is located near Lafayette Square and close to major attractions like the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the World War II Museum.
The renovation will retain the unique characteristics of the 128-foot-high building, which was designed by Favrot and Livaudais, a Louisiana-based architectural firm that also designed many buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project’s development team has also worked closely with Louisiana’s State Historic Preservation Office to ensure the architectural integrity of the building is preserved.
“NOPSI’s guests will view their New Orleans experience through the prism of this hotel, which will also serve as a true community gathering place,” said Carl R. Kuehner III, CEO of Building and Land Technology (BLT), the building’s owner. “We were drawn to the beauty and history of this building, and this renovation ensures the spirit of this great city is fittingly captured.”
NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans becomes part of the Salamander portfolio, and specifically the company’s Signature Collection, joining the luxurious Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA, and Henderson Beach Resort, which opens in Destin this November along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
“NOPSI will offer a fun and energetic experience which complements Salamander’s unique brand of service excellence and authentic approach to hospitality,” said Salamander Founder and CEO Sheila C. Johnson, who is also one of America’s top entrepreneurs and the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television. “NOPSI will become known as one of the finest urban hotels in America, and we look forward to introducing our clients and customers to the unique spirit of New Orleans, while also exposing new guests to the Salamander service culture that will define the NOPSI experience.”
The hotel’s classically designed guestrooms will provide a variety of flexible room types, ranging in size from 350 to 800 square feet. Featuring neutral colors with gold accents, they will offer luxurious and refined furnishings, local artwork and the technology demanded by today’s discerning travelers.
The ninth floor will feature a Presidential Suite and four Spa Suites with spacious terraces that can be utilized for an extraordinary in-room spa experience, a Salamander area of specialty. With a fitness center, concierge services and 24-hour in-room dining, NOPSI is designed to attend to the need of the modern guest.
The hotel’s lobby bar will feature a new courtyard garden, as well as a selection of hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer and curated wines.
NOPSI’s restaurant and bar, which will be called “Public Service,” will be located off the lobby but also provide a separate entrance onto Baronne Street.
An ever-changing menu will offer classic Gulf Coast seafood, a raw bar, creative food presentations, hand-tossed pizzas and an extensive array of craft, draft and bottled beer.
A chef’s counter featuring eight stools will overlook an open kitchen with wood-burning pizza oven and rotisserie. Seating up to 118 people, the restaurant will provide live entertainment, communal tables, leather banquettes and an upstairs private dining room.
On its rooftop NOPSI will feature an iconic pool and bar, providing a view of the city’s diverse skyline.