LuxUrban Hotels, which utilizes an asset-light business model to lease entire hotels on a long-term basis and rent out hotel rooms in these properties in key major metropolitan cities, has signed and funded a 15-year master lease agreement, plus two 5-year options, to operate The James NoMad Hotel in New York City. LuxUrban expects that The James will be rebranded as The J Hotel by LuxUrban, a Wyndham Grand Hotel. The company expects to take possession of the property and begin welcoming guests on or before March 1.
With a Beaux-Arts style exterior, the James NoMad is a New York City landmark. This 353-room property is located in midtown Manhattan and close to the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and Grand Central Station. Eclectic, post-modern touches define the lobby and works from local artists adorn the walls. The hotel, designed by renowned architect Thomas Juul-Hansen, has been described as an “urban sanctuary.”
Indoor/outdoor Italian restaurant Scarpetta, which has received a James Beard nomination for ‘Best New Restaurant in America’ as well as a coveted three-star review from the New York Times and The Seville, the hotel’s throwback, speak-easy style cocktail lounge, are on property.
“The J Hotel will mark LuxUrban’s 13th hotel under long-term lease in our core market of New York City and expand our range of offerings to business and leisure travelers,” LuxUrban Chairman and Co-CEO Brian Ferdinand said in a statement. “I want to thank GFI Hospitality, an affiliate of GFI Capital Resources Group, for its support, professionalism and vision in consummating this transaction. GFI Hospitality has completed over $4 billion in hotel transactions and created some of the world’s most iconic lifestyle hotels—including the Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, The Thompson Central Park, Ace New York, Ace Brooklyn, Ace Palm Springs, and the James NoMad. We look forward to our continued collaboration.”
“By acquiring the long-term operating rights to select hotels, LuxUrban allows owners and operators to retain ownership of their properties while unlocking the full commercial potential of each asset," Ferdinand continued. "We believe that this transaction reflects the growing industry acceptance of our evolving asset-light business model and the inherent, value-driving benefits of our collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. I want to thank Wyndham for its support in connection with our largest hotel transaction to date. As our business continues to mature, the size and quality of the hotels we are targeting are expected to continue to improve, as will our ability to be selective in the assets we acquire under long-term MLA. Some of the hotels we are currently considering include food and beverage options, as well as meetings and entertainment venues. These are welcome amenities for our guests, although they would be owned and operated by an outside party given our focus on turnkey hotel properties with minimal cap-ex requirements.
“Having added our first hotel to the Wyndham platform in late Q3 (September) 2023 and completing the portfolio integration in Q4 2023, we are seeing an increasing percentage of Wyndham direct sales, which are expected to reduce our dependency on comparatively lower margin third-party OTAs. We expect to realize scale-driven cost efficiencies more fully as we build property density in our existing cities.”