Meet the man who creates today’s coolest hotels


This change into a good year for Andrew Zobler. The CEO of Sydell Community, the hospitality firm he co-based with billionaire Ron Burkle in 2005, opened six properties this year. They consist ofThe Line in AustinandWashington, D.C.,Freehand in Original York City,NoMad in Los Angeles, and two motels in Las Vegas:Park MGMandNoMad, which occupies the Park MGM’s high ground and boasts its private entrance, restaurants, pool, and ******.




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Company restful down in the Freehand’s frequent home.

Zobler currently has six unannounced projects in the works. All of this comes ideal a year after the debut of The Ned, Zobler’s collaboration with Slice Jones of Soho Dwelling, which hasty grew to turn correct into a proceed-to space inLondon. Within the previous year on my own, Sydell Community’s portfolio has grown from 1,993 lodge rooms to 5,986. “When you detect at what we’ve done, it’s somewhat irregular with regards to the desire of self enough concepts, which maintain legs, that we’ve created all within a barely short duration of time,” he says over coffee at a nook desk at Studio, an all-day café on the Freehand in Original York.

The Ned change into the Original York native’s first property out of doorways the U.S., however the intention it all performed out is classic Zobler. It begins with an ancient, usually “enormous” building that affords itself usually in an under-the-radar ZIP code. The NoMad inOriginal York, as an illustration, is a 1903 beaux-arts building in an home beforehand known for storefronts selling the entire lot from low-label jewelry to wigs. A broken-down bank building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and relationship to 1924 is now home to The Ned in London; The Line in Washington, D.C., is housed in a neoclassical twentieth-century church. “We survey communities where there’s something to attain that is attention-grabbing, so the project isn’t ideal about utilizing a wave or ideal building one other lodge,” he says.




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Dramatic safe characterizes the Freehand’s reception desk.

Subsequent, Zobler and firm safe to work assembling a workforce, from interior designers to restaurateurs. He’s tapped every person from Jacques Garcia, a French architect and dressmaker, to the powerhouse duo Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams, who agreed to safe a up to date-day hostel in Miami (the predominant Freehand—they’ve since done the opposite three Freehands as successfully), to Sean Knibb, a dressmaker and landscaping manual who had by no manner done a lodge earlier than winning the associated price for The Line in Los Angeles and, later, Austin.

“We’ve taken hundreds of in actuality talented folks and given them a worldwide stage,” Zobler explains. “Gabe [Orta] and Elad [Zvi] are one of the handiest mixologists on this planet, however no one had heard of them,” he says of the co-founders of Bar Lab and, now, managing companions of the Broken Shaker bars in all Freehand motels.

Zobler, who’s 56, change into born in A ways Rockaway, Queens, the eldest of three youngsters of a tax attorney father and a schoolteacher mother. He named the firm after his grandmother, Sydell Weyl, an antiques vendor who employed a younger Andrew in her store and regularly took him on shopping trips to Europe. He credit her with helping develop his detect for safe and fervour for commute. In his early 20s, he worked in gross sales, after which as an assistant supervisor at Charles Jourdan on Madison Avenue. It change into the ‘80s, the head of ask for the French dressmaker’s iconic, excessive-heeled pump. He change into in the valid plan on the valid time with the valid product. “That change into the handiest year of my lifestyles, I had so grand fun,” he recalls. In 1984 he went to law college. “I continuously wished to enter replace of some form and I bought a law stage because I change into better with words than with numbers.”




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This neoclassical broken-down church homes The Line in Washington, D.C. “We survey communities where there’s something to attain that is attention-grabbing, so the project isn’t ideal about utilizing a wave or ideal building one other lodge,” Zobler says.

After graduatingfrom Brooklyn Law College, Zobler went on to work for the corporations of Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison earlier than landing at Greenberg Traurig. While a partner there, Zobler met Barry Sternlicht and eventually went to work for Starwood Accommodations as senior vp of acquisitions and pattern in the early days of W Accommodations. Taking a detect motivate, Zobler credit Sternlicht as being “the superb impression…. as a deal maker, he is untouched. He’s a genius.” Thought to be one of the deals Zobler and Sternlicht thought about change into the acquisition of André Balazs’s Long-established motels; it didn’t figure out, however Zobler stayed in contact with Balazs and, in the early aughts, grew to turn correct into a partner in the firm. Over the three years they worked collectively, the firm developed a variety of properties collectively with The Raleigh and The Long-established motels, both inMiami, and obtained the gain 22 situation for the Long-established, Original York. “Andre change into extremely appropriate at new culture and safe and growing a scene and cultivating a good crowd,” Zobler says.

“Andrew is without lengthen vehemently passionate and pushed and centered, and on the opposite hand positively terrified and humble,” says Eleven Madison Park’s Will Guidara.




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The neatly-liked London lodge The Ned also homes the Vault Room, an outlandish ingesting space.

While he admits he’s “developed an abilities doing ‘Chilly Accommodations,’” Zobler himself has no “burning desire to be chilly.” He prefers weekends at his Hudson Valley home, which he shares with his husband, Manny Urquiza, their four canine and three cats. He wears crisp button downs with suspenders and ideal Cole Haan brogues and jokes that he handiest wears a suit “when I’m going to meet lenders.” The one visible portray of wealth is a classic gold Rolex.

“I in actuality maintain methundreds of folks who are inventive geniuses, who maintain developed or managed lodge product. I in actuality maintain met hundreds of lawyers and bankers and [private-equity] guys who maintain chanced on inventive folks to work with. However I in actuality maintain by no manner chanced on, earlier than Andrew, what I would withhold in mind to be your total equipment,” says Jim Murren, the Chairman and CEO of MGM Hotels World. Zobler has managed to enjoy motels which will likely be chilly however now now not too chilly for a extensive demographic range. Use just a few hours in the NoMad or Freehand foyer areas and you’ll see hipsters with ’70s mustaches in classic concert tees besides to businessmen in tailored suits and expensive shoes and locals hunched over laptops the exercise of the free Wi-Fi. “Loads of folks are attempting and description their product as something that every person will admire, and nearly no one will abominate. They are attempting and attain something that is neatly-liked,” says Zobler of the competitive market. “We are attempting and revel in things that in actuality maintain a degree of notice, animated that some folks obtained’t admire it, however folks who attain admire this can like it and switch into roughly evangelical about it.”

Rima Suqi is a Original York City-primarily based mostly writer and producer. Note Rima on Instagram
@rimasuqi.

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