When “Sex and the City” firecracker Samantha Jones was romanced by businessman Richard Wright in a string of episodes, it was hard to ignore the trendy a hotel he owned.
There were diamond chandeliers, exposed brick walls, marble countertops and glass tables so luxurious that fans of the show started flocking to the Hudson hotel in New York City, where the scenes were filmed.
Soon Canadians won’t have to go far for their own taste of “Sex and the City” glamour. The Hudson is coming to Toronto.
If the project manages to obtain municipal approvals and successfully navigate hearings scheduled for this spring, the 75,000-square-foot building at 445 Adelaide St. W. will open in 2024 and overlook St. Andrew’s Park. It won’t copy Philippe Starck’s design of New York’s Hudson, but will be just as opulent with 146 rooms, a rooftop restaurant, a bar, a café and several other yet-to-be-announced amenities.
Sam Nazarian, the founder of Hudson’s parent company Sbe Entertainment Group, said this will be his first project in Toronto.
“My (executive) team has four or five Canadians, so they constantly remind me that Canada should be a very important market for us,” Nazarian said, chuckling. “It is a city that has been consistently growing since 2006 and 2007 — when I started going there — in relevancy, hospitality, food and beverage, lifestyle and branded residential.”
Under the Sbe brand, Nazarian, who co-founded and then sold telecommunications brand Platinum Wireless, has amassed 29 hotels, including the Delano, Mondrian, House of Originals and Redbury brands, and more than 180 entertainment, lifestyle and culinary venues like Katsuya, Umami Burger, Cleo, Fi’lia, Carna and the S Lounge. The Hudson has made appearances in teen television show “Gossip Girl,” while the Mondrian was spotted in HBO hit “Entourage” and referenced in rapper 50 Cent’s music.
Nazarian will develop Toronto’s Hudson in partnership with Lamb Development Corp, which has worked on Toronto’s Flatiron Lofts, the Brant Park and the Theatre Park buildings. IE Hospitality, a new division of real estate investment firm Impact Equity, will also be involved.
The project has enlisted Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance as lead architect and DesignAgency will head up interior design.
Nazarian predicts the project will inspire others in New York to think of Toronto for their next business ventures.
“We are really trying to connect the two cities even more than they are already connected,” he says.
The Hudson joins luxury hospitality brands the Bisha and Library Hotel Collection’s Hotel X, which both recently entered the market, joining hotel heavyweights like the Ritz Carlton, the Shangri-La and the Four Seasons.
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Given the stiff competition and the fact that Sbe is new to the Toronto market, Nazarian recognizes he has his work cut out for him, so he says the brand will be “overcompensating.”
“We’re aware that most people in Toronto may not know about us,” he said. “The first project has to be very impactful because it’s not only bringing the Hudson brand but the Sbe brand (to Toronto) and that is really what we are excited about putting all of our effort and energy into.”
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