The standalone seven-story brick building located at 111 Iberville St., across from Canal Place, was built circa 1884 by the Louisiana Sugar Refining Company to process, store and ship sugar. After 1908, when business moved downriver, the building was used as a warehouse by a variety of companies. Among its early tenants were Pelican Storage and Transfer, one of the first local companies to provide household moving services and personal storage, and Elton Boudreau and Co., a seed and hardwood log company.
In 1971, architecture giants Curtis and Davis bought and converted the building into office space. As one of the first full restorations of an existing warehouse in New Orleans, the renovation won multiple architectural awards. But it wasn’t an easy job. One of the stickiest situations was what Davis referred to as “molasses rain.” After concrete was poured, the weight slowly pushed 70-year-old molasses out of the old wooden floorboards, causing it to drip on the floors below.
National chain Victoria Station, a railroad-themed restaurant, took over the first floor that same year, parking boxcars and a caboose alongside the building for use as dining rooms. Victoria Station closed in 1984, and the space held a short-lived restaurant called Robert Anthony’s. Three years later, it reopened as the New Victoria Train Station, providing live music every night, until it closed in 1991. The building was mostly unused after the mid-1990s.
Badine Land, LTD bought the building in 1993 with intentions of turning it into a hotel. They made attempts in 1993 and 2004, but a late-1960s zoning-ordinance ban on new hotels in the French Quarter proved to be an insurmountable roadblock. Finally, in 2015, a proposal for a boutique hotel was accepted, making it the first official new hotel to be approved in the French Quarter since 1970.
The new hotel, ONE11, opened in late 2020. It showcases many original architectural features and restores a long-vacant building into a vibrant part of the downtown economy.