Las Vegas, NV, USA May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — sbe, an industry-leading hospitality, lifestyle and real estate development company, and Stockbridge Capital Group, LLC, a real estate investment firm, today announced that they have secured $300 million in new funding for the redevelopment of the Sahara Hotel & Casino into the highly anticipated SLS Las Vegas. The news of the funding marks a major milestone for Las Vegas and the north end of the Strip, signaling renewed economic growth for the community and the hospitality and gaming industries.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC raised the funds in less than two weeks, underscoring investor confidence in the project and in sbe’s track record of operating successful hotel, restaurant and nightlife brands. The redevelopment is anticipated to create thousands of local jobs beginning in the next two years.
“We see the northern end of the Strip as the future of Las Vegas, and we’re pleased to be positioned at the forefront of that growth,” said sbe Founder, Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian. “Las Vegas has recovered steadily in the past year, and we’re excited to be able to inject capital back into the local economy through the adaptive reuse of the famed Sahara.”
”This is yet another positive step for the SLS Las Vegas development,” said Terry Fancher, Executive Managing Director of Stockbridge Capital Group. “This project brings a new energy level to the north end of the Strip and will help drive the continuing economic rebound in Las Vegas.”
“Las Vegas is the premier tourist destination in the world and our hotels and accommodations are like no other. The redevelopment of the iconic Sahara hotel will continue this tradition and bring new life to the north end of the Strip,” added U.S. Senator Harry Reid. “I thank Sam for his work on this important project that will create thousands of jobs and help Nevada’s economy.”
“Today’s news will make an immediate and positive impact in Las Vegas, infusing hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy and creating thousands of jobs,” Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said. “I commend Sam and his partners for their confidence in our state and I wish him and his team success as they redevelop this property.”
The SLS Las Vegas will be created in a high style collaboration between Nazarian, renowned design icon Philippe Starck and James Beard award-winning chef Jose Andres. The property will be Starck’s first Las Vegas resort and his largest hospitality project to date. Once complete, SLS Las Vegas will feature an all-encompassing, mixed-use resort and casino with more than 1,600 guest rooms and suites and a collection of sbe’s acclaimed restaurant and nightlife brands.
“Ultimately, we’re taking our proven brands and re-imagining them for SLS Las Vegas in a manner that makes them accessible to a broad audience,” added Nazarian.
Applying sbe’s approach to adaptive reuse of existing properties – as evident with SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, The Redbury and SLS Hotel South Beach – SLS Las Vegas will offer a true boutique resort experience on the Strip.
In addition to the funding, sbe named hospitality and gaming industry veteran Rob Oseland as President and Chief Operating Officer of SLS Las Vegas. Oseland was formally with Wynn Resorts. In his new role, he will work in conjunction with Nazarian and sbe to develop and launch SLS Las Vegas.
“Rob brings more than two decades of development, gaming and marketing expertise at the highest level to SLS Las Vegas,” Nazarian said. “His leadership and talents have made Rob a valued member of the Vegas community, and his contributions to sbe will be instrumental to our success.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with sbe to usher in the next era in Vegas,” said Oseland. “Together, we’re developing SLS Las Vegas as an integrated resort and gaming destination that will re-energize the north end of the Strip.”
Oseland’s hiring comes on the heels of the Clark County Commission’s recent permit approval of redevelopment plans for the property. sbe enlisted Gensler Architects, an award-winning global architecture firm, and Las Vegas-based PENTA Building Group to assist in the redevelopment of the property.
In recent years, the influx of ultra-luxury brands to the Strip began to limit the general consumer’s accessibility to dining and entertainment diversions. With this in mind, sbe will create a guest experience at the SLS Las Vegas that is just as accessible as it is appealing.
“We’re seeing demand for a different experience – a refreshing, fun and accessible take on Vegas luxury – and the hospitality brands that we’ve developed over the years lend themselves very well to the classic timelessness that Vegas has always been known for,” said Nazarian. “With SLS Las Vegas, we’re bringing those brands to the Strip and creating a refreshing new experience that’s designed for everyone.”
Once complete, SLS Las Vegas will feature an imaginative mix of sbe brands, including The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Katsuya by Starck, a reinvention of sbe’s original nightlife concept, Shelter and new brands currently in development.
With a thriving hospitality footprint in Los Angeles and beyond, sbe has been able to harness the global appeal of Southern California and Hollywood to help fuel its rapid growth and critical acclaim.
In the past 18 months, sbe has launched a widely popular new hotel brand in Hollywood, The Redbury, opened two of Los Angeles’ top rated new restaurants, Cleo and Mercato di Vetro, and has expanded the Katsuya brand nationwide to Houston, San Diego, Orange County and Miami. In the nightlife world, sbe has launched The Sayers Club and Greystone Manor, which have become Hollywood’s most exclusive destinations, as well as announcing a partnership with the Miami Heat to open Hyde AmericanAirlines Arena later this year. Crowning the recent surge in growth is SLS Hotel South Beach, set to open in the coming weeks.
“The sbe platform has allowed us to create a new vocabulary in lifestyle hospitality, with a seamless integration of hotel, restaurant, nightlife and entertainment through one voice,” added Nazarian. “With Los Angeles being Vegas’ number one feeder market, we’re anticipating SLS Las Vegas will resonate powerfully with a clientele already familiar with our brands and uncompromising level of service.”
To learn more about sbe, please visit sbe.com.
Stockbridge is headquartered in San Francisco with offices and personnel in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. For more information, please visit www.stockbridgerealestate.com.
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