Baywood Hotels of Columbia, Maryland, and Dallas-based NewcrestImage have formed a joint venture to develop the historic former Oil and Gas Building in New Orleans into a 176-room, 14-floor upscale Canopy by Hilton.

TWO ASIAN AMERICAN-owned companies are working together to develop a Canopy by Hilton in downtown New Orleans. Baywood Hotels and NewcrestImage are renovating the historic former Oil and Gas Building into a 176-room, 14-floor upscale hotel.

Baywood, based in Columbia, Maryland, is led by President Al Patel and Mehul Patel is chairman and CEO of Dallas-based NewcrestImage.

The joint venture will update the Oil and Gas Building that was built in 1959 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 for its use of glass, steel and abstract geometry in a skyscraper. It is near the city’s French Quarter,  the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Audubon Aquarium, Harrah’s Casino and historic Jackson and Lafayette squares.

Other nearby attractions are Tulane Medical Center, the University Medical Center of New Orleans and the LSU Health Center. The new Canopy will include updated features while retaining its connection to the local community, Mehul said. It will feature a restaurant and a meeting space with a terrace balcony.

“We are a development company that is very much about preservation, conservation, and adaptive-reuse,” he said.  “This new hotel will preserve the past and make it work for the present.”

Baywood’s Al agreed.

“We are combining the glamour of yesterday with the cool and comfortable of today,” he said. “Our guests will enjoy a little bit of classic, a little bit of modern, and a whole lot of the neighborhood character.”

The hotel, scheduled to open in the summer of 2021, is NewcrestImage’s third hotel in New Orleans and Baywood’s fourth in Louisiana.

Baywood owns more than 110 properties in 18 states and Gujarat, India, including its recently opened the dual-branded Home2 Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Mall of America and Tru by Hilton Minneapolis Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. NewcrestImage, which recently opened a Hyatt Place in Amarillo, Texas, owns and operates 32 hotels in 10 states with 18 more under construction.