Legacy Suites prototype debuting in St. James

Published 11:45 pm Friday, July 25, 2014

By Stephen Hemelt

ST. JAMES — When state officials announced the addition of a methanol-manufacturing complex at the Port of South Louisiana would result in 2,000-plus new, indirect jobs for the surrounding area, one hotel-development company was already planning around those projections.

St. Louis-based Midas Hospitality plans to open a 113-room Legacy Suites on West Louisiana 70 in St. James Parish near Donaldsonville by May of 2015.

CFO and Manager J.T. Norville said company leaders have taken note of “billions” of dollars being spent by a variety of industries that line the Mississippi River near the Sunshine Bridge.

“We feel like there is an unmet demand for temporary housing for that area,” Norville said.

“With all the new employment coming to the area, and obviously the temporary construction jobs associated with all the new development going on in the area, we saw a need for our product.”

Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret said chemical manufacturing plants, such as the methanol production units Yuhuang will develop in St. James Parish, have a high job multiplier that brings a great deal of indirect job creation.

“Using a standard economic model for such projects, LED estimates that 2,365 permanent, indirect jobs — persons not directly employed by the manufacturer — will result in the regional economy,” Moret said. 

Midas Hospitality is banking on that growth, so much so that its first, “prototype” Legacy Suites will launch in St. James Parish.

“This is the first Legacy Suites of its kind,” Norville said. “This is the first market we’re bringing the concept to. We feel this is a perfect market for this concept of the extended-stay customer in mind.”

Each Legacy Suites room is outfitted with a full-equipped kitchen, living room recliner and dining area.

The public area includes a fitness center and complimentary guest laundry “for those people staying multiple weeks, so they can maintain their fitness and get their laundry done on site,” Norville said. “It’s pretty efficient.”

Construction crews started moving dirt at the St. James location on June 23 and hope to get the foundation poured in the coming weeks.

A public groundbreaking ceremony starts at 3 p.m. Tuesday, featuring Midas Hospitality officials, St. James Parish President Timothy Roussel and chambers from the River Region and Ascension Parish.