Cooper Square Hotel to become Standard East Village under Balazs

New York will now have two Standards—one the west side and one on the east side. That's after news that André Balazs has closed on the Cooper Square Hotel, in the East Village, which he acquired from Westport Capital Partners. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The New York Post first reported that Balazs is turning the Cooper Square Hotel into The Standard East Village. Word is Balazs will touch up the 105 guestrooms, renovate the public spaces and redo the recently opened restaurant on the 21-story building's ground floor, which is currently called the Trilby.

The Real Deal reports that Balazs took control of the hotel less than a year after Westport Capital Partners bought it for $70.9 million. Westport had initially provided mezzanine financing in 2007 to help fund the construction of the hotel. Westport then assumed control of the property from the prior owner in a restructuring that concluded in December 2010. As part of that process, Westport restructured the debt with the hotel's first mortgage lender, settled outstanding payments to contractors and creditors and completed the last phases of the hotel's construction.

During its period of ownership, Westport worked closely with hotel management, led by Klaus Ortlieb and Matthew Moss, to reposition the hotel's food and beverage operations to better complement the hotel's positioning in the high-end boutique hotel market and to further improve the guest experience.

Jordan Socaransky, a principal at Westport, said, "As a transitional owner, Westport made meaningful strides to stabilize the hotel's performance, as evidenced by an increase in operating income of over 60% from 2010 through 2011. The improvements also allowed us to substantially increase the hotel's average daily rate over the same time period."

The New York Post also writes that the property will be The Standard's more "intimate and residential location than its boisterous site straddling the High Line, which houses Le Bain, the Top of the Standard, a beer garden and the Standard Grill."

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