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Sam Chang Sells Times Square Hotels For $450M

150 West 48th St. in Midtown Manhattan, a tri-branded hotel project developed by McSam Hotel Group.

New York hotel developer Sam Chang has sold a huge Times Square hotel portfolio for nearly half a billion dollars across two separate sales.

An entity linked to Houston-based Dauntless Capital Partners paid $290M for a commercial condo at 150 West 48th St. this week, just a few days after Magna Hospitality Group picked up the other half of the lot for about $160M, Crain’s New York Business reports.

The site spans two commercial lots but has three separate Hilton hotel brands. A 400-room Motto hotel opened earlier this month, while a Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hampton Inn at the property are expected to open later this year. 

Sam Chang’s company, McSam Hotel Group, has been a prolific developer of New York hotels, but its founder announced plans to retire in 2019. He said then he planned to sell more than 20 hotels he still owns in the city in order to devote more time to pigeon racing, which he has pursued since his childhood in Taiwan. 

At the time, he had 11 projects in the works in New York but pointed to zoning laws restricting hotel development as the main reason he was leaving the hotel game behind. The city passed new rules that required new hotels or major expansions to secure a special permit, significantly curtailing the development permits.

“That rezoning put me in my retirement," Chang told The Wall Street Journal in 2019.

In the last three years, he has sold off properties including a Marriott project at 140 West 28th St. for more than $147M and the Holiday Inn at 37-02 10th St. in Long Island City for $76.5M, per Crain’s. He stayed active despite the retirement talk, developing the Times Square properties and opening a SpringHill Suites by Marriott at 111 East 24th St. last year.

The slowdown in development, along with deals hotels have signed with the city to manage the migrant crisis and a massive tourism rebound, have helped the hospitality industry recover from the hit it took early in the pandemic.