Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group agreed to sell New York’s luxury Baccarat Hotel to an affiliate of China’s Sunshine Insurance Group.
The 114-room property on Manhattan’s West 53rd Street is scheduled to open next month, Starwood said in a statement Monday. The Beijing-based insurer agreed to pay $230 million for the hotel, which occupies the first 12 floors of the 50-story Baccarat Hotel & Residences project, the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 6.
Chinese companies have accelerated real estate investments in global gateway cities such as New York. In October, Beijing’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. agreed to pay $1.95 billion for the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue, an Art Deco landmark and one of the city’s signature properties. It would be highest price paid by a Chinese buyer for a standing U.S. building, Kevin Mallory, global head of hotels for CBRE Group Inc., said when the deal was announced.
That the buyer for the Baccarat “is yet another Chinese insurer could signal an increase in the pace of Chinese institutional capital looking abroad for diversification and safety,” said Ben Carlos Thypin, director of market analysis at property-research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc.
At about $2 million per room, the price for the Baccarat would be the second-highest on that basis for a New York hotel, behind the $2.5 million per room paid for a 75 percent stake in the Plaza Hotel in 2012, Thypin said. That price included the Plaza’s retail space, he said.
Starwood Capital built the Baccarat hotel and condominium project with developer Tribeca Associates. The property, with a 125-foot-wide (38-meter-wide) corrugated crystal facade, is across the street from the Museum of Modern Art. The hotel will be managed under a long-term contract by Greenwich, Connecticut- based Starwood’s SH Group.
“Sunshine shares our long-term strategic vision for Baccarat Hotels and will be an excellent partner for the growth of our brands, particularly in the fast-growing travel markets of Asia,” Sternlicht said in the statement. Additional Baccarat Hotels are under construction in Dubai and Rabat, Morocco, he said.
Rooms at the New York hotel feature four-poster beds flanked by marble nightstands, Baccarat crystal light fixtures, white-marble bathroom floors and flat-screen televisions concealed within smoked mirrors, according to the property’s website. The property also has a Spa de la Mer, fitness center and indoor pool.
Nightly rates for the week of March 9 start at $729 for a “classic king” and top out at $18,729 for the “Baccarat suite,” the website shows.
Sunshine is China’s seventh-largest Chinese insurance group, according to Starwood’s statement. The company in November bought a Sheraton hotel in Sydney for A$463 million ($362 million) from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. The Stamford, Connecticut-based hotel company isn’t affiliated with Starwood Capital.
Eastdil Secured LLC advised Starwood Capital in the Baccarat transaction. Sunshine was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.’s hotels and hospitality group and represented by Holland & Knight LLP.
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