Shvo goes global, starting in Mexico

By Jen Benepe | January 24, 2008 01:47PM

Shvo, run by marketer Michael Shvo, is going global, starting with a hotel-condo development Nizuc on Mexico’s Mayan Rivera. The project’s New York press launch occurred at a glitzy Soho gala Tuesday night.

Guests attending the Soho House party were picked up in private cars and shown an unconventional 6-minute film made by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the Oscar-nominated director of “Babel” and “21 Grams.”

Slated to open in October 2009, the $180 million development is being built by developer Alan Becker, hotel chain GHM and hotelier and designer Adrian Zecha.

The film depicted Mayan ruins, a young woman dancing on the beach and swimming underwater in a white dress, and another woman walking through old buildings with a torch in her hand. No renderings of the resort appeared in the film.

Renderings do appear online at a flashy Web site that plays soft music and the sounds of waves hitting the shore, to a backdrop of colorful beach.

Nizuc is being built on an old Mexican presidential retreat that hosted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and the band U2.
 
About 160 “pied a terre” residences will cost $1.3 million to $3.5 million, while three beachfront villas will cost up to $10 million.

Situated on its own private beach, the new resort is being designed by Jean Michel Gathy who designed GHM’s Setai in Miami. Indonesian designer Jaya Ibrahim will design the interior.

Nizuc is just one of Shvo’s international assignments. Shvo said recently in a Real Deal Webcast interview that he plans to market 15 new hotel-condo and hotel projects in Mexico, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Shvo declined to comment on the projects.

GHM has hotels and resorts in Malaysia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bali, Indonesia, Oman, Thailand, Milan, Italy, and South Beach, Miami.
 
The first hotel-condo project that Shvo marketed is the new W Downtown at 123 Washington Street, which has 223 condos and 217 hotel rooms.
 
Shvo told The Real Deal that he was bullish on the hotel-condo model because it shields the developer from the fluctuations of the hotel market. He said buyers are willing to pay a premium for a hotel’s amenities, including a spa, a restaurant, and business services.
 
At the W Downtown, hotel and condo services like the Bliss spa are duplicated for both entities, he said.
 
“There is a tremendous amount of people who are looking for this type of product,” Shvo said.