BOSTON—Baccarat Hotels & Residences will have a decidedly global tilt as Starwood Capital Group looks to develop the brand.
While Starwood Capital in late April announced the 114-room Baccarat New York is expected to open in the United States in 2014, future openings will occur in places such as Morocco, Western Europe and China, Kevin Colket, Starwood Capital’s VP of acquisitions, said during a break last week at the Hotel Equity and Lender Perspectives conference in Boston.
Baccarat already has somewhat of a global presence with a property in Shanghai. The brand is also targeting a 2013 opening for a 357-room property in Dubai.
Starwood Capital announced its intention to develop the Baccarat brand in 2008 after the company acquired Baccarat with its buy of Société du Louvre in 2005.
Colket said the company is banking on the global recognition of Baccarat, which bears the name of the French crystal-maker, as being a key element to the brand’s success. Baccarat S.A. was created in 1764 by a decree from King Louis XV. The brand, via its chandeliers, for instance, has been a part of grand hotels and palaces in the past, he said.
An artist’s rendering of the 114-room Baccarat New York.
“It translates very nicely into the hotel space … I think it’s something that resonates with people,” Colket said.
Colket declined to say how many hotels might be in Baccarat’s pipeline. Speaking generally about the company’s deal philosophy, Colket said, “Deals have to work based on the numbers today in order for us to get excited.”
The Baccarat New York, which will be housed in a 46-story building on West 53rd Street, is being developed in partnership with Tribeca Associates, a New York real-estate development and acquisitions company.
The Baccarat tower is expected to be developed at a cost of $400 million, the New York Post reported.
As for the latest property announcement, Colket said Starwood Capital is bullish on the New York market. In fact, New York figures largely in the company’s overall deal-making plan.
“We got into New York at the right time, one or two years ago before the real-estate prices started skyrocketing,” he said.
Europe’s debt crisis isn’t likely to hinder too strongly any of Starwood Capital’s development plans, Colket said.
“There’s still a lot of capital out there and a flight to safety” to markets such as New York, Paris and London, he said. “The amount of demand we’ve seen for new capital in Paris is strong.”