RREEF acquires New Orleans hotel for $93m

Two years after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, RREEF and Loeb Realty are teaming up to acquire the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel for $93m.

RREEF, the real estate investment arm of Deutsche Bank, is working with private real estate investor Loeb Partners Realty to acquire the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the firms reportedly paid New Orleans-based Decatur Hotels $93 million (€67 million) for the property.

“Our view is that New Orleans’ lodging market will return to pre-Katrina levels within the next few years,” Benjamin Young, a managing director with RREEF, said in a statement. “We believe now is the time to invest in the city’s hospitality infrastructure and the Astor Crowne Plaza’s prime position at the gateway to the French Quarter will be an advantageous location as New Orleans tourism recovers and the city returns to meeting planners’ short-list of top convention destinations.”

The 707-room hotel was opened in 2002 and is situated on the corner of Bourbon and Canal Streets. According to the firms, the hotel has 27,500 square feet of meeting space and 22,500 square feet of ground floor retail space.

Taking over the hotel, RREEF and Loeb plan to renovate the hotel, though details were not provided. The firms say the hotel suffered little damage and did not flood during Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city in September 2005. The hotel will remain under the Crowne Plaza banner and Prism Hospitality will take over the management of the hotel. 

“One of our main focuses is to purchase quality, yet undervalued, investment properties throughout the US, so this acquisition is a perfect fit for us,” added Nick Rizzo, managing director at Loeb, in the statement. “We are excited to work in this great city, and happy to participate in its rebuilding process.  In this respect, Loeb currently has investments in over 1,700,000 square feet of office and retail space in New Orleans.”

RREEF is part of RREEF Alternative Investments, the asset management business of Deutsche Bank. Earlier this week, the firm announced it was acquiring the last seven retail outlets owned by the family of Dominick DiMatteo, Sr., who founded Chicago grocery store chain Dominick’s. The stores, spread throughout the Chicagoland area, were acquired for a reported $75 million.