What retirement? Sam Chang files plans for Midtown hotel

Prolific developer previously blamed new hotel zoning restrictions for putting him “out of business”

New York /
Dec.December 30, 2019 02:26 PM
150 West 48th Street and Sam Chang (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)

150 West 48th Street and Sam Chang (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)

Competitive pigeon racing may have lost a major player.

Hotel developer Sam Chang, who told media earlier this year he was winding down his real estate business to focus on racing the squat-bodied birds, has filed plans with the New York City Department of Buildings for a new hotel at 150 West 48th Street.

Chang bought the site earlier this year from the Rockefeller Group for $140 million, according to Crain’s. Earlier this month, S3 Capital Partners provided him with $250 million in financing for the development.

The DOB filings show the hotel will span 300,216 square feet and and stand at 34 stories tall. It will include 974 rooms, and will not offer enclosed parking. Architect Gene Kaufman, a frequent partner of Chang’s, is listed as the applicant. Neither responded to requests for comment.

The project is the latest in a long list of hotels developed by Chang, whose firm McSam Hotel Group helped to establish a new type of budget hotel in the 1990s.

However, a new law restricting hotel development in manufacturing zones soured his view of the industry in the past year, and he told the Wall Street Journal in May that the lawmakers behind the measures were “pretty much putting me out of business.”

At that time, he had scaled back on buying development sites and was cutting back his hotel holdings from 31 to 10.

In addition to hinting at retirement, Chang said he would focus more of his energies on pigeon racing — a hobby that traced back to his childhood in Taiwan. Chang reportedly owns hundreds of homing pigeons. One cost him as much as $25,000.

However there were early signs that the retirement plan wouldn’t stick. In August, McSam Hotel Group purchased a Chinatown parking garage for $18.75 million, breaking a year-long hold on purchasing development sites.

Chang is also facing a lawsuit from Club Quarters over the firm’s former management agreement at a Wall Street hotel. Separately, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for an investigation into Chang’s alleged firing of workers at the hotel, who voted to unionize over the summer.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Beanie Babies founder Ty Warner and 57 East 57th Street (Getty Images, MBandman, CC BY 2.0 - via Wikimedia Commons)
Owner’s feud with Four Seasons leaves Midtown hotel in limbo
Owner’s feud with Four Seasons leaves Midtown hotel in limbo
Carpenter & Company's Richard Friedman and 2 Canal Street in New Orleans (Carpenter & Company, Google Maps)
New Orleans Four Seasons lands $315M loan from Madison Realty Capital
New Orleans Four Seasons lands $315M loan from Madison Realty Capital
120 East 39th Street (Hotels, Getty)
Short-term rental company taking over Midtown hotel
Short-term rental company taking over Midtown hotel
Paramount Group's Albert Behler and 1301 Sixth Avenue (Getty, Paramount Group, Americasroof at English Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0/via Wikimedia Commons)
Law firm takes 142K sf at Paramount’s 1301 Sixth Ave
Law firm takes 142K sf at Paramount’s 1301 Sixth Ave
(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty Images and Americasroof at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 - via Wikimedia Commons)
Chinese firms bailing on US commercial market
Chinese firms bailing on US commercial market
711 Beach Avenue in Cape May, New Jersey and Icona president Eustace Mita (Google Maps, Drexel University)
Luxury brand planning $150M hotel in Cape May
Luxury brand planning $150M hotel in Cape May
The Gregory Hotel in the Garment District (Google Maps, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Booze bandits: Restaurant claims Gregory Hotel owners stole liquor
Booze bandits: Restaurant claims Gregory Hotel owners stole liquor
Sydell Group's Andrew Zobler and rendering of proposed dorm for Bard College students (LinkedIn, Sydell Group)
Sydell launches Brooklyn hotel with dorms for Bard students
Sydell launches Brooklyn hotel with dorms for Bard students
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...