Mr. C Seaport hotel sells to South Korean operator for $60M

Luxe 66-key lodging at 33 Peck Slip will no longer operate under Cipriani family brand

Bob Ghassemieh, Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, Mr. C Seaport at 33 Peck Slip (Getty, Mr. C Residences, Google Maps, Bob Ghassemieh)
Bob Ghassemieh, Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, Mr. C Seaport at 33 Peck Slip (Getty, Mr. C Residences, Google Maps, Bob Ghassemieh)

The Los Angeles-based Ghassemieh family sold its boutique hotel in the South Street Seaport for an even $60 million in a needed jolt for New York’s hospitality market.

South Korean luxury resort operator Sono Hospitality Group has made its biggest step yet into the U.S., buying the 66-key Mr. C Seaport hotel for a healthy per-room price of just over $900,000.

The hotel at 33 Peck Slip — which closed temporarily this month, citing the pending sale — will no longer operate under the Mr. C brand, created by developers Bob and Alex Ghassemieh and operators Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani starting with a Beverly Hills hotel in 2011.

The sale was brokered by Jeffery Davis, who leads JLL’s investment sales team for U.S. hotels.

Opened in 2018, the hotel was the Cipriani family’s first in New York City. Guests received a bellini upon arrival — a cocktail of Prosecco and peach purée invented by Giuseppe Cipriani in Venice in the 1940s — and access to a free ride in a luxury SUV for up to 20 blocks.

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The Ciprianis, through their family firm Cipriani S.A., run upscale Italian restaurants and event spaces in Midtown and Lower Manhattan. Casa Cipriani, a luxury hotel and members-only club, opened its doors in the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street late in 2021.

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The Mr. C brand grew after the Ghassemiehs led the purchase of the Seaport building in 2016 for $38.3 million. Branded residences were added to its Beverly Hills hotel the following year. The brand also includes hotels and residences in Florida and Dubai, though the Ghassemiehs are not involved at either location.

The Ghassemieh family became the sole owner of the New York property in 2020, buying a minority ownership stake from developer Howard Hughes, Bob Ghassemieh said.

The sale of the Mr. C Seaport hotel comes after the city’s first healthy tourism season since the onset of the pandemic. New York boasted the nation’s highest hotel occupancy rate in June, according to lodging data firm STR, although distress still lurks in the market.

Elsewhere in the Seaport district last week, the Durst Organization put a seven-building, 95-unit apartment portfolio along Front Street, a block south of the Mr. C hotel, on the market for $87 million.