HRI Bringing Life Back to Iconic New Orleans Building

HRI Bringing Life Back to Iconic New Orleans Building

NEW ORLEANS, LA - After 90 years, the iconic beaux arts tower that was once Louisiana’s tallest building was sold to a joint venture that includes HRI Properties (HRI), the pioneer of adaptive restoration of historic buildings, and Woodward Interests, LLC (WI).

The joint venture closed on its purchase of the 23-story Hibernia Building from Capital One on August 26.  Capital One acquired the building in 2006 as part of its purchase of Hibernia Corporation.

Capital One Bank will continue to operate its downtown bank branch on the ground floor of the building. The branch will maintain normal business hours throughout the construction phase. While the project is under construction, the contractor will utilize the building’s parking lot on Union Street. Customers will be provided validated parking in the Commerce Garage at 821 Gravier St.

The new owners will convert the 23-story building at 313 Carondelet St. into 175 apartments with condo level finishes, including granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and wood floors, as well as a 15th floor roof top amenity deck that will feature a pool and fitness center.  In addition to the bank branch and apartments, the mixed-use project will include two floors of office space. HRI intends to occupy a portion of the office space as its corporate headquarters, said Tom Leonhard, HRI’s President and COO.

“We could not be more proud to be owners and soon tenants of arguably the most recognizable building in downtown New Orleans,” said Leonhard. “HRI is recognized nationally as a pioneer in the adaptive re-use of historic structures, and the Hibernia Building will become both our flagship property and our home,” he said.

“With a soon-to-be-completed $1.7 million renovation of our branch lobby on the ground floor, Capital One Bank is proud to maintain a prominent presence at 313 Carondelet as the building enters a new chapter in its history,” said Steve Hemperley, Greater New Orleans Market President for Capital One Bank.

Leonhard affirmed that Capital One Bank will maintain the tradition of lighting the white tower nightly and in holiday colors such as red and green for Christmas and purple, green and gold for Mardi Gras. “Generations of New Orleanians, including myself, have grown up looking for the lights on the tower,” Leonhard said. “We are very happy to see that it will continue to illuminate New Orleans’ skyline for generations to come.”

The acquisition of the property was financed with a loan from Whitney Bank.  HRI and WI anticipate closing on the full $56 million of financing next month that will allow construction to proceed. The two developers are working with Capital One Bank on that redevelopment financing package.

 Based in New Orleans, HRI Properties (HRI) is a full-service real estate development company and a national leader in the adaptive reuse of historic structures. HRI’s mission is revitalizing cities by creating diverse, vibrant, sustainable communities. Since its founding in 1982, HRI has completed 54 large-scale projects, which total 4,635 apartment and condominium units, 3,487 hotel rooms, and over 1.17 million square feet of retail and office space with a total development cost of more than $1.6 billion.

Founded in 1924 by Carl E. Woodward, Woodward Design+Build is a privately held firm based in New Orleans with additional offices and facilities on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain and in Mississippi. Woodward has a reputation for quality and reliability built on success after success for their clients.  Today, Woodward is one of the largest design and construction organizations in the Gulf Coast Region with more than 280 employees.


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