From NOLA.com

Seven floors of Poydras Street office tower converting to $120 million Hyatt hotel

By Katherine Sayre, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Email the author | Follow on Twitter

on October 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM, updated October 10, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Seven vacant floors in the 1250 Poydras St. office tower will be converted into a 194-room Hyatt House hotel, a project that will consume the largest contiguous premium office space available for lease in the city, brokers on the deal announced Friday (Oct. 10).

The 11th through 17th floors in the middle of the 24-story tower will be converted to a hotel operated by Select Hotels Group LLC, a Hyatt affiliate, according to a news release from Robert Hand, president of Louisiana Commercial Realty, and Maria McLellan, Gulf States Real Estate Services LLC associate broker.

The $120 million hotel is being developed by Waypoint NOLA LLC, whose manager is Christopher Robertson of Arkansas. Robertson is also manager for the office tower’s owner, Poydras Properties, and he was an investor in the recently renovated Hyatt Regency nearby on Loyola Avenue.

The Hyatt House brand, launched in 2012, offers extended-stay services with studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites and full kitchens.

The brokers were hired to lease out three of the vacant floors on behalf of ENI Petroluem, which moved its employees to Houston but had space contracted through 2018.

Hand said of 9 million square feet of Class A office space in the Central Business District, more than 1 million square feet is up for lease — half of which represents full floors. Big companies that would be interested in large office space aren’t moving into the city, Hand said, while the city’s tourism economy is booming. The brokers decided to target the hotel industry.

“The space was strategically located in the center of all the new and exciting activity in downtown New Orleans,” Hand said in the release. “Our research showed the space had what appraisers call a ‘higher and better use.’ It just makes economic sense, but it is out-of-the box thinking.”

The building has a walkway to the Hyatt Regency at 601 Loyola Ave. Hand said guests at the new hotel will have access to the Hyatt Regency’s parking, fitness center and other amenities.

The project is being financed by a $120 million loan from Starwood Property Mortgage LLC, a subsidiary of Starwood Property Trust, the nation’s largest commercial mortgage real estate investment trust, according to the release. The loan is guaranteed by a 60-year lease from building owner Poydras Properties to Waypoint NOLA LLC.

Robertson was one of the investors with Poydras Properties Hotel Holdings LLC, which bought the Hyatt Regency in 2007 for $32 million. The hotel reopened in 2011 after a $275 million renovation. 
Poydras Properties also owns the Entergy building at 639 Loyola Ave.
Link: http://bit.ly/2d1espi