Nazarian Enterprises and SBE announced today that their SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills has refinanced its $70 million mortgage, easing a debt crisis for the owners of the chic new luxury hotel.
The mortgage on the luxury hotel was due in a lump sum in November. However, the two Los Angeles companies were unable to either refinance the debt or pay it off. They continued to make interest payments until working out the refinancing deal with the original lenders.
The deal will extend the loan until 2013, while requiring the hotel to funnel all profits for the next three years into paying down the debt. It’s estimated those profits will total $10 million. Nazarian Enterprises also will make an additional payment of $13.5 million this year, said SBE Chief Executive Sam Nazarian.
The hotel, which opened in late 2008, has not been meeting some projections SBE set before the recession struck. Last year, for example, standard rooms could be found on travel Web sites such as Expedia.com for about $280 per night, even though Starwood marketed the same rooms at $369 or more. Also, the hotel was projected to have average monthly occupancy rates in the low 70 percent range, but instead levels were in the range of 61 percent to 65 percent.
Still, Nazarian told the Business Journal that hotel was breaking even on an operating basis within six months of it opening and has been cash-flow positive since. The new financial structure will give the hotel some time before a final balloon payment is due.
“It gives us 39 months of breathing room to stabilize the asset and then refinance when the economic world comes back to normal,” he said.
The debt negotiations involved seven groups of lenders, including bondholders, equity partners, Credit Suisse, Washington Holdings and Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises.
SBE is Sam Nazarian’s Los Angeles-based hotel and restaurant company, which developed and manages the hotel in conjunction with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Nazarian Enterprises, a company run by Sam’s brother David Nazarian, owns the SLS Hotel with several partners.
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