InterContinental New Orleans is undergoing a $26 million renovation, the first major work performed at the hotel property since its opening in 1984.

Work is expected to be completed by early fall, with plans for minimal impact on hotel guests.

General Manager John Romano said the renovation is the most important investment made to date in New Orleans by the hotel’s new ownership.

The hotel is owned by Southwest Value Partners, a San Diego real estate investment firm, and Dimension Development, a hotel management company based in Natchitoches. The property was sold in January 2013 by its original owners, Pan-American Life Insurance Co. and InterContinental Hotels Group.

A new expansive entrance lobby, with a front desk and concierge area, is the design centerpiece of the renovation. A lounge and signature restaurant will adjoin the open first-level lobby.

The second level will have modern meeting spaces.

Renovations include 479 guestrooms, heating and cooling systems and laundry operations.

“And, we intend to continue to look at trends and innovations in facilities improvement that competitively position InterContinental New Orleans in the market and better serve New Orleans and the industry that drives the economy of the city, the state and the region,” he said.