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Deals & Dealmakers

HKS cooks up $109 for hotel as new chef arrives

HKS Capital Partners brokered a $109 million loan to help David Moinian and Sam Nazarian complete their flagship hotel at 444 Park Avenue South.

Photo by US Department of Agriculture
Photo by US Department of Agriculture

The partners received the financing from Fortress Investment Group for the 190-room luxury lifestyle hotel in a deal brokreed by Ayush Kapahi and Gabrielle Simon of HKS Capital Partners.

The money will allow the developers to recapitalize and restructure existing debt on the Midtown South redevelopment, according to the New York mortgage brokerage.

Spencer Garfield, a managing director in Fortress’s credit and real estate business, originated the debt. Puerto Rico’s Doral Bank provided construction financing for the project in 2012 and 2013, city records show.

“HKS was instrumental in recapitalizing/restructuring the existing mortgage to allow for the project to utilize additional square footage,” said Moinian, who purchased a 14-story office building at the site in August 2011 for $45 million and partnered with the Los Angeles nightclub operator and hotelier SBE to open its successful SLS brand there.

The project marks the first SLS hotel in New York City, following two completed properties in Miami Beach and Beverly Hills.

The $150 million redevelopment project has evolved to include an additional six stories above the existing structure along with a 6,000 s/f sub-cellar. The boutique hotel — scheduled to open next spring — will contain three bars and a restaurant to be helmed by chef José Andrés.

The website reported that Andrés will bring his The Bazaar by José Andrés concept to the hotel. This marks the third Bazaar for the world but the first JA restaurant in NYC. Andrés recently backed out of opening a restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C, in protest at Donald Trumps presidential campaign remarks about Mexicans and illegal immigrants.

Trump has threatened to sue if Andres reneges on his lease.

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