By Natalie Wong
Nobu Hospitality, the sushi restaurant and luxury hotel chain founded by Robert De Niro, chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and movie producer Meir Teper expects to reach $1bn (€850m) in revenue in five years as it adds condos, or apartment buildings, to its growing empire.
A key step in the company’s growth was its first foray into the condo market, with 660 units and 36 luxury hotel suites atop a Nobu restaurant in Toronto. The project, announced last year, sold out in three months. After starting with one sushi restaurant in New York in 1994, the company now has over 40 locations, including London and Las Vegas.
“Normally in our restaurants we can have over 100,000 customers a year. All we’ve got to do is convert 10%-15% of those customers to fill our hotels. So that’s why we went into hotels,” said chief executive Trevor Horwell.
Nobu Hospitality hopes to complete the two-tower Toronto project, which may cost as much as C$300m (€196m), in 30 months, said Horwell. Hotel room rates are expected to be as much as C$800 per night, and condo units will average C$850,000. Most of the condo units were pre-sold to local residents.
The company has committed to two more mixed-use developments, one in Sao Paulo and one in Los Cabos, Mexico, and is on the lookout for opportunities in Asia, including Taipei, Hong Kong, and Jakarta. Mr Horwell hopes to have 10 mixed-use Nobu developments around the world in the next decade, while adding five hotels and restaurants per year.