Standard Hotel sells for $400M to Standard International

Andre Balazs’ project goes for a staggering $1.2 million per room

Andre Balazs and the Standard High Line
Andre Balazs and the Standard High Line

It stands tall above the High Line. And now the Standard Hotel has achieved other lofty heights.

Last week, the 330-room Standard High Line at 848 Washington Street in the Meatpacking District sold to Standard International for more than $400 million, or about $1.2 million a room, according to Andre Balazs, the hotel’s creator and an owner. That price is a record for the Meatpacking District and close to a record for the city, analysts told The Real Deal.

While reports have circulated that the hotel would fetch those figures, until now it was unclear whom the ultimate buyer would be. Steven Kantor of S2K Partners, who was identified as the buyer in earlier news reports and by industry sources, was not actually involved in the deal, Balazs said.

Instead, Standard International, which runs the five-property hotel chain, signed a contract on Friday, Feb. 14, said Balazs, who confirmed the sale price but otherwise declined to comment on the transaction.

Last fall, Balazs sold 80 percent of his interest in Standard International, the business that runs his hotels. However, he retained ownership of the real estate, including at the Standard High Line. With this deal he sold the real estate at the Standard High Line, too.

The group of investors who bought his stake in Standard International last year include David Heller, a former Goldman Sachs trader, who is also an investor in the Standard, East Village, according to Balazs, who is also an owner there.

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That project, formerly known as the Cooper Square Hotel, was snapped up in 2011 for $90 million. Heller, who left Goldman in 2012 after 22 years, is also an investor in the basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers, according to his LinkedIn profile.

For Balazs, who said he is currently at work on a pair of hotel projects in London, the sale should bring a windfall. Though Balazs did not disclose his stake, owner-operators like him can own up to 20 percent of a property, analysts said.

New York-based investment fund Dune Capital Management and Conn.-based private equity firm Greenfield Partners, which owned the hotel with Balazs, also sold their stakes to Standard International.

Over the years, Greenfield and Dune had invested $240 million in the Standard, according to news reports. According to sources close to the deal, Greenfield and Dune wanted out because they had to pay off certain funds that have time limits on when capital must be returned to investors.

Per room, the deal ranks among the priciest ever in Manhattan, analysts say.

Indeed, the W Union Square sold for more than $1 million a room, in 2006, according to an industry report, and a Mandarin Oriental, at Columbus Circle, sold for more than $1.3 million a room in 2007, though that was for a partial stake.