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The Higgins Hotel New Orleans

Size of Project

177,334 SF

Number of Keys



New Orleans, LA


The National World War II Museum




New Construction


Completed in 2019


Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolf & Associates, Inc.


Legacy isn’t given. It’s built.

All buildings have a story. The best ones tell it. Our client, World War II Theater Inc., looked to do that with the Higgins Hotel and Conference Center. This continuation of the National WWII Museum’s mission and offering would pay tribute to the past with an infusion of New Orleans hospitality. While still a young company, RNGD (Palmisano at the time) was honored to have been chosen from a wide field of candidates. Our previous work, planning process, proposed budget, and timeline positioned us as the ideal Design-Assist contractor to lead the new construction. But this was more than winning a project. Warren Palmisano, Sr., the grandfather of RNGD CEO Wesley J. Palmisano, served in WWII, participating in the later waves of D-Day. Returning home in 1946, he later founded W.J. Palmisano Contractors, sparking an entrepreneurial spirit that would inspire the creation of Palmisano Construction and, ultimately, RNGD. Proving legacy isn’t given. It’s built.

The magic happens before you start.

For the RNGD team, innovation arrives in the form of preparation. For us, that meant being a leader in pre-construction for this new build and approaching the process with a partnership-driven mindset. We worked with architect Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates and interior design team Kay Lang and Associates to bolster the hotel’s unique 9-story, 230-hotel room design. A whole-project strategy was set for the new building’s many offerings: guest rooms, conference and meeting spaces, rooftop bars, ground-level bars, lounges, restaurants, and administrative offices. For any project, especially complex multi-faceted builds, being a leader in pre-construction puts us in a prime place to directly influence outcomes. After all, as our CEO says, “most of the magic actually happens before you start.”

Solutions that reduced cost.

RNGD deployed lean methodologies and fully-utilized BIM to drive the build-out of the project—ultimately completing a floor every two weeks. Working with vendors and project stakeholders, we tracked the progress of each floor while maintaining a consistent, open stream of communication. 360-degree cameras enabled the RNGD team to receive real-time visuals of guest room rough-in. Our uncompromising Zero Defects policy saw us identify and correct issues in days, not weeks. Despite significant project strategy modifications, we remained on track with the original target end date and budget. Impressed with the RNGD approach, the client later remarked that our team was pivotal in “offering design solutions that reduced costs without diminishing the beauty or functionality of the hotel.”

Connecting a piece of history to the world.

Completed ahead of schedule, the Higgins Hotel and Convention Center opened to critical acclaim in 2019. The intricate art-deco patterns and unique 1940’s era inspired style enrobes heartfelt hospitality that builds off the atmosphere of the National WWII Museum. The RNGD team was proud to lead the project, navigate critical obstacles, and deliver faster than most companies. As our biggest project at the time, we were awarded the 2020 ENR Regional Best Project Award of Merit in Residential Hospitality. Beyond accolades, we were proud to connect a piece of history to the world and anchor an economic driver in the heart of the New Orleans community.


Merit in Residential Hospitality

ENR Regional Best Project Award — 2020