André Balazs: Selling Hotels Is Standard Procedure

Andre Balazs
Photo: WireImage

Ever since yesterday's little Gawker item about André Balazs selling three of his signature hotel properties (it turned out that it came from a Crain's story), we've been wondering what's up. Is our favorite hotelier and celebrity dater hard up for cash? Are delays and extra costs on his High Line–spanning Standard Hotel becoming a burden? Apparently not, according to Balazs himself. The Observer got him on the phone to talk about the transfers. "Quite frankly, we're a little surprised about Crain's much ado about nothing," Balazs said. "It was financing. You know, we recently refinanced a bunch of the other properties and restructured them to take advantage of the capital markets. And these are all now stabilized properties that it's just an opportune time to refinance them, meaning that they've been open long enough, and they're steady and mature hotels." So … everything's okay? "It's a routine recapitalizing and restructuring [of] the underlying debt or equity. We do it all the time. We control the management and control the properties." Hm. We liked it better when all we had to think about was whether we liked his pretty lobbies.

Andre Balazs Explains Hotel Moves: 'We Do It All the Time' [NYO]
Hotelier selling assets in refinancing move [Crain's NY]