The High Line-straddling Standard Hotel has found a surprise potential buyer, sources tell The Post: Hong Kong-based wheeler-dealer Goodwin Gaw.
Of perhaps greater interest to the city’s potentially oversaturated hotel market, the purchase price is likely 15 percent less than what the Standard was in contract to sell for in 2014 — although the deal never closed.
Sources said that a fund controlled by Gaw Capital Partners — which is run by Goodwin, 48, and his brother and sister — is in advanced talks to pay $340 million for the marquee property.
Although Gaw has been called the “poster boy for fronting Asian capital to Western markets and Western capital to Asia,” he’s no money-shuffler.
Gaw Capital owns properties valued at $8 billion around the globe. Its American affiliate, Gaw Capital Partners USA, has more than $2.7 billion in gross assets under management — including Los Angeles’ fabled Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. One of Gaw’s investment funds recently bought the Marriott City Center in Oakland, Calif.
But in an intriguing twist, if the deal for the Standard goes through, the seller won’t be the company that’s been widely — but incorrectly — reported as its current owner.
Standard International, the management company for Standard-branded inns, was reported to be in contract to buy the hotel for $400 million from Dune Capital Management and Greenfield Partners in early 2014.
However, it turns out that the deal was never completed — despite news reports as recent as two months ago that claimed Standard International had bought the hotel from Dune and Greenfield.
The alleged purchase was “incorrect information,” Standard International marketing and communications VP Corey Tuttle told us by email. “The original owners still own the property,” he confirmed.
Tuttle had “no comment at this time” regarding Gaw’s potential purchase. He didn’t provide contact information for André Balazs, the visionary hotelier who founded the Standard brand and still owns 20 percent of Standard International.
JLL’s Jeffrey Davis, who’s marketing the Standard with his firm’s Gilda Perez-Alvarado, responded to our questions with a “no comment.” Goodwin Gaw didn’t respond to an email.
Why would the Standard sell for $60 million less than it was valued three years ago?
Three different hotel industry analysts told us all of its vital numbers — revenue per available room, occupancy rate, and food-and-beverage revenue — were “down significantly” since early 2014 due to greater competition from new supply and Airbnb.
The authoritative STR hotel marketing survey reported that nearly 16,000 new rooms will soon come on line in the city on top of the Big Apple’s existing all-time high of 115,145 rooms.
Competition’s especially fierce in the hip and trendy, party-central class of hotels that includes The Standard. It made news back in 2009, when guests were spotted having sex in the windows over the High Line — but this summer, the amorous window action shifted to Ian Schrager ’s new Public Hotel on Chrystie Street.
Cushman & Wakefield hotel sale specialist Tom McConnell, who’s not involved at the Standard, said that a price cut from $400 million to $340 million for it would be “similar to the diminution in values that we’ve seen around the city.”
He said the Standard was particularly vulnerable to competition on the food-and-beverage front. “The Standard is like a big restaurant complex with venues at the top and on the bottom, with hotel rooms sandwiched in between. I’d venture to say that it does more food and beverage income as a percentage of revenue than any other hotel in town,” McConnell said.
Source: NY POST