Kenner’s Laketown is seeing some interest for a makeover. Atlantis Gaming wants to build a total destination resort and Boyd Gaming, the company that owns Treasure Chest Casino, wants to take the riverboat casino and replace it with a new land-based casino.

“It’s exciting for the city of Kenner,” Mayor Ben Zahn said.

Laketown is located on the city’s public Lake Pontchartrain frontage. City leaders have wanted to do something with this property for a while. City officials say that the new developments will not only lure visitors to the area but also bring in funds for the sales-tax-dependent Kenner.

The casino that will replace Treasure Chest Casino will be a bigger and better casino on the land. The $95 million projects will have a steakhouse, sports bar and a sportsbook along with the casino. The plan is to open the casino in late 2023.

The Las Vegas-based Atlantis Gaming plans to build a 40-acre development with a budget of $450 million. It will include shops, condominiums, dining options and, possibly, gambling. The project will be on large barges moored in the lake.

“It’s an attraction that will not be just for Kenner, but for people outside of Kenner,” Zahn said this week.

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The Whitney Hotel will soon have a new name and a new owner. Robert Thompson, a boutique hotel developer and GBX Group that is backed by New Orleans Saints Drew Brees has purchased the seven-story historical building located on the corner of Poydras and Camp Streets. They plan to gut the interior of the building and update it over the course of next year.

The building that is currently housing The Whitney Hotel, was built in 1910. The building was originally Metropolitan Bank’s headquarters. The bank then turned into Whitney Bank and later a hotel called the Whitney Wyndham. Joe Jaeger, the owner of the largest group of hotels in New Orleans, purchased the building for $10.4 million in 2015. Jaeger has owned the hotel since then but wanted to shift his hotel holdings around, so he sold it to the new owners for $16.9 million. The new owners planned to have the new hotel up and running for Mardi Gras 2023.

“This hotel to my mind and to a lot of people I’ve spoken to in New Orleans is in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city,” Thompson said. “It was developed (when it was first converted) to service business travelers, which I don’t think was best suited for this particular historic property.”

Angevin & Co is Thompson’s firm that is located in New Orleans and GBX, which is partnered with Brees, is an Ohio-based real estate firm. The new owners have donated 2,500 square feet of land to the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. They also will preserve the building’s façade along with all the other historical features.

The interior of the building will be completely revamped. The new hotel will follow the vogueish boutique hotels design such as the Virgin Hotel and Maison de la Luz in the Central Business District. The hotel will have a flower shop on the ground floor lobby that is open to the public as well as a newly-renovated restaurant.

The restaurant will be driven by the “vegetable-forward” concept and will be casual and Southern. Along with the restaurant Thompson said they will also have a “moody craft cocktail bar.”

“Robert is looking at both The Whitney and the city with fresh eyes, and the ideas he’s bringing to the forefront will have a positive and lasting impact on the hospitality and tourism industry in New Orleans,” said Jaeger in a prepared statement announcing the sale.

As far as a name, FAM Design, have come up with a fictional “muse” to guide the hotel’s name change and design.  The story is of a young Irish woman who moved to New Orleans and opened her own flower shop and speakeasy.

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