One of Louisiana's richest men buys a Four Seasons penthouse in record New Orleans condo deal
Another big Louisiana name has nabbed a luxury condominium in the soon-to-open Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, and this time it’s a record when it comes to New Orleans real estate deals.
Donald “Boysie” Bollinger, former chief executive of Bollinger Shipyards, has purchased one of the penthouse units in the new Four Seasons for $13 million, the retired shipbuilder confirmed Friday.
The purchase price on the 4,000-square-foot penthouse, one of four on the 30th floor of the 33-story building, is a record for a condominium in the city, selling for more than twice the previous record of $5 million for a penthouse at the 15-story One River Place, located a few hundred yards upriver, according to Four Seasons sales director David Seerman.
The $530 million renovation of the former World Trade Center, located where Canal Street meets the Mississippi River, started over three years ago and is expected to be completed in the spring. The 341-room hotel will occupy the first 18 floors and the 92 private residences start more than 200 feet up on the 19th floor, with penthouses between the 29th and top floors.
Last year, the celebrity-news site TMZ.com reported that Saints quarterback Drew Brees had purchased a unit in the building. Four Seasons developers have declined to comment about purchasers of the private residences.
Bollinger, 71, said he was inspired to buy because of the spectacular views of the city and the Mississippi River, which will include a view of the large Bollinger signage at the shipbuilder’s berths in Algiers on the west bank.
He was also motivated by the fact that he is an investor in the project, which is led by local developer Paul Flower’s Woodward Interests and New York-based Carpenter & Co.
“As an investor, I had the first pick,” he said, noting that his unit will include the old fireplace from the Plimsoll Club that used to be located in the landmark building.
“I’m interested in them being successful in selling condos,” he said, adding that he thought the record sale would help sell other units.
The remaining condos are being marketed at between $2 million and $10 million, which puts Bollinger’s unit at the top of the range even before putting all the finishing touches on the place.
“We haven’t finished the interior design so I can’t tell you the final price,” he said. “I don’t even have glass in the windows or walls on my floor, [but] I was up there the day before yesterday and it will be a wonderful view. You can see a big portion of the city.”
The hotel will open first and then the condo units will be completed sometime after May, he expects.
In any case, Bollinger, who sold the shipyard business established by his father in 1946 six years ago, said he and his wife don’t plan to make the condo their primary residence.
“Joy doesn’t like living downtown,” he said, referring to his wife. “I expect to use it as a party place, if we ever have parties again.”
Residents will have their own private driveway and elevators, with access to hotel services, including in-residence dining and housekeeping. They will also have exclusive access to the Spanish-influenced residents’ club on the 29th floor, which will have a private bar and lounge overlooking the Mississippi. Other amenities include a golf simulator room and a private dining room and chef.
Bollinger said he is looking forward to having the gigantic pied-à-terre for times when they want some hotel luxury close at hand.
“I did a lot of research on Four Season condos around the world,” he said. “Most people don’t live in them, [but] as we get older, we might like room service.”