What’s in a name? Candy brothers look to license theirs

Nick and Christian Candy
Nick and Christian Candy

Candy & Candy, the design firm side of the Candy brothers’ real estate development business, said on Tuesday they will license their name to projects globally — much the way Donald Trump lends his brand to developments around the world.

The brothers, who developed the mega-successful One Hyde Park condominiums in London — a home to sheikhs that remains shrouded in mystery — have set their sights on New York of late, as The Real Deal has reported. But brothers Nick and Christian have yet to work on another project as large or high–profile as One Hyde Park, which premiered in 2007.

“There is no reason why we can’t Do The Next 432 Park Avenue or One57,” Nick Candy told TRD.

The firm will seek “strategic developer and hotelier partners,” across the globe, including in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, St. Petersburg and in the U.S., a spokesperson for Candy & Candy said in a statement. She declined to identify any partners the company is currently in talks with.

“We are announcing something in Dubai in March, a very large project,” Candy said. He declined to give any further detail on that venture, however.

Candy is also still on the lookout for a New York partner and has met with Stephen Ross, chariman of Related Companies, who toured the brothers’ One Hyde Park recently, he said. “I’d love to partner with Stephen,” Candy said. “I think we have mutual respect.”

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He pointed to the partnership between Related and the Mandarin Oriental at 80 Columbus Circle (part of the Time Warner Center development) — where Related built the project under the Mandarin Oriental brand — as the sort of relationship he would like to emulate. But he said no specific plans have been set.

Candy said the business’ trajectory was not unlike that of the Trump Organization, which licenses its brand to projects from New York to Israel, often without providing the actual capital.

“We want to team up with the best talent locally,” Candy said. He said his scouting for land and partners hasn’t led to anything concrete yet because the plots have been “too small or not the right location.”

The Candys did buy an Upper East Side townhouse at 19 East 70th Street for $35 million last summer, which they will remodel and flip, as The Real Deal first reported last year. But that project is small change compared to what they envision in coming years.

The firm is also looking at projects in three other U.S. markets: San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles. Nick Candy lives in Los Angeles’ Holmby Hills area, he said, while his brother, who owns a penthouse at the Plaza, spends about half his time in New York City. The Candys are also looking at additional projects in Beverly Hills, Nick said.

“The [developer] I admire most is the Zeckendorfs,” Nick said, saying he believes his company can bring projects of the quality of 15 Central Park West – or better – to the cities across the globe where there is demand for ultra luxury. And despite his admiration, he insists “nothing yet comes close in quality to One Hyde Park.”