Andre Balazs purchased the Raleigh Hotel in 2002 and has since solidified it as one of South Beach’s top haute spots. Built in 1940, the luxury boutique hotel underwent a renovation by Balazs to encapsulate its current element of Art Deco grandeur and simple elegance. Now after seven years, the 104-room Raleigh Hotel that is a favorite amongst the elite and famous is being sold.
Expecting to close the deal within the month, Balazs believes this is the right time to sell. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Balazs commented, “I think it’s probably a fortuitous time, based on what’s happening in Miami.” He of course is referring to the excessive amount of unsold and uninhabited condo and hotel units along the beach as well as stalled construction and infrastructure. Regardless, the hotelier, who is also behind The Standard chain, said he has accomplished what he wanted to do with the Raleigh and typically sells hotels six or seven years after opening them. After the deal is finalized his primary focus will be brand positioning of The Standard, which recently opened a new New York outpost.
The Standard is a chain of hotels known for high style and tongue-in-cheek insinuation. With locations in downtown L.A., Hollywood, New York, and Miami, Balazs is planning on expanding The Standard chain internationally. “We are moving quite aggressively overseas and in the Caribbean,” Balazs noted, and he will use money from the sale of the Raleigh to further fund this expansion. Although Balazs purchased the Raleigh for $25 million, the current selling price has yet to be confirmed.
Andre Balazs has achieved great success as an hotelier in part due to his sex-sells approach to the industry. An example of such was when the advertisement, “We’ll put up with your banging, if you you’ll put up with ours,” ran while The Standard New York was open during construction. In addition to The Standard chain, Balazs owns other hotels and residences in California, New York, and Miami, and also has the Andre Balazs Reserve wine label available at Balazs hotels and restaurants.