(Bloomberg) -- In a departure from recent news of hotel closings in New York City, one beloved spot is getting a new lease on life.
The NoMad, a 168-room hotel whose ambitious restaurant and bar spaces helped usher in a renaissance for the formerly fading Garment District neighborhood around it in 2012, is set to reopen in summer 2022 as the Ned, a Soho House-operated hotel and members club best known for its gigantic flagship in London. It will mark the second location for the Ned brand, and one of a dozen new projects planned for its parent company, Membership Collective Group Inc., in the year ahead.
In March 2021, a year into the pandemic, the NoMad closed suddenly “for renovations,” as a letter to staff put it. Later, the hotel’s website was updated with a sorrowful statement declaring “the end of an era.” It wasn’t the only trendy hotel to fall victim to the pandemic: The Times Square Edition was another casualty, and there are no signs yet that the currently shuttered Gramercy Park Hotel or its iconic Rose Bar will ever return.
The new iteration of the building will likely be far more than a “renovation.” According to an MCG spokesperson, “The Ned NoMad will honor the original architectural features,” but “the main member and public spaces will be completely refurbished with interiors designed by the Soho House design team.”
The shift signals a resolution for the years-long legal battles between Andrew Zobler, who operated the NoMad under his hospitality company Sydell Group, and billionaire Rob Burkle, his primary investor. (Both Burkle and Zobler have previously partnered with Soho House Chief Executive Officer Nick Jones, and Zobler is a partner in the London location of the Ned.) Quarrels between the two had nearly sent the NoMad to bankruptcy auction in 2019; now, MCG says, “Sydell has fully exited its ownership from the former NoMad site.”
Already out before the changeover was announced was Daniel Humm, the famed chef who runs Eleven Madison Park and who for many years ran the NoMad’s main restaurant.
The Ned will have 167 rooms—one fewer than its predecessor—along with a public bar and restaurant, and several members-only spaces. Early renderings show a style that is more dramatic and colorful that the old aesthetic, graduating the look from bohemian to decadent. “The team who launched the Ned in London are behind the project, and the club will have the same design DNA,” said the spokesperson.
By the time the Ned opens, it will be in the literal shadow of the 45-story Ritz-Carlton NoMad, also opening in 2022 just across the street. In the back half of the year that property will introduce food and beverage concepts from José Andrés, including outposts of his Michelin-starred Bazaar and Zaytinya concepts as well as a rooftop bar—where “sea air” margaritas will come with dramatic Empire State Building views. While the old NoMad had stunning rooftop terraces flanking historic cupolas, they were generally reserved for private use; MCG’s spokesperson indicated that they will likely remain that way and become part of a rooftop bar and terrace restaurant accessible only to “Ned’s Club” members.
Taken together, the two new hotels will represent a real coming-of-age for a neighborhood that in 2012 was still up-and-coming. And just in time, too, with New York proving the most in-demand destination in the U.S. for both domestic and international visitors, a trend that will likely continue far beyond the upcoming holiday season.
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