Hotel mogul Sam Nazarian finally plants flag in NYC

For nearly two years hotel mogul Sam Nazarian has been saying he wants to expand his empire to New York City. According to the Wall Street Journal, he’s finally doing just that in the red-hot area for hotels north of Madison Park at 444 Park Avenue South, on the corner of East 30th Street.

Moin Development Corp. purchased the 14-story office building last August for $45 million and partnered with Nazarian to plant the SLS brand in the city. Together they plan to spend about $40 million to add five floors to the building, convert it into a hotel and open it in the second quarter of next year. Nazarian said he would charge nightly rates of $450 to $550 for the 190 rooms. The boutique property will also have three bars and a restaurant.

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“For us, this really finalizes the triangle between New York, Los Angeles and Miami,” Nazarian, who plans at least two more hotels in the city, told the Journal. “New York is really going to be big for us across our platform.”

Nazarian owns the Sahara in Las Vegas and hotel properties in Miami Beach and Beverly Hills. He faced financial difficulties on the properties during the downturn, but the Journal said he has managed to overcome them. Nazarian also owns Katsuya and Bazaar brand restaurants and owns a stake in the Umami burger chain. [WSJ]