Sahara/SLS Las Vegas owner to develop luxury hotel in New York


The Los Angeles-based hospitality company that wants to turn the shuttered Sahara into SLS Las Vegas, has announced a deal to bring the same brand to New York City.

SBE Entertainment, which is controlled by restaurant, hotel and nightclub developer Sam Nazarian, plans to open SLS New York by June 2013. The project, which is located on Park Avenue in Manhattan, will have 190 rooms and suites. It will include some of the company’s signature restaurant and nightlife concepts in the lobby and on the property’s rooftop.

SBE has opened SLS Hotels in Los Angeles and in the South Beach area of Miami Beach. SBE announced last spring it would transform the Sahara, which closed in May 2011, into SLS Las Vegas.

"For us, this really finalizes the triangle between New York, Los Angeles and Miami," Nazarian told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. "New York is really going to be big for us across our platform."

Nazarian’s company and Stockbridge Capital Group, a San Francisco-based private equity group, purchased the Sahara in 2007 with designs on remodeling the aging hotel-casino.

Earlier this year, Nazarian and his partners recapitalized the Sahara and obtained a $300 million construction loan from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Nazarian and his partners still must raise more than $100 million in additional financing to fund the development, which could be completed in 2014.

SBE also operates Hyde Lounge inside Bellagio.