André Balazs

by Amy Michelle Smith Photographed by Andre Balazs== ANOTHER MAGAZINE + Equipment Dinner== Milk Studios- Penthouse, NYC== September 14, 2010== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo- MARC DIMOV/ PatrickMcMullan.com== ==
Monday, June 20, 2011

Born in Budapest, Andre Balazs grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and became a famed developer and hotelier with the acquisition of Chateau Marmont in 1990. Balazs has since created a new generation of classic properties throughout the United States. Andre Balazs Properties now owns 7 hotels in New York, LA and Miami. Balazs studied humanities at Cornell University (as a College Scholar and was in the Quill and Dagger society), took design classes at RISD, got a masters degree in a joint journalism and business program at Columbia University and worked on a senate campaign before founding a bio-tech company with his father. After putting $12 million into Chateau Marmont to turn the decaying icon into what it is today, Balazs is no stranger to large investments. His first New York venue (the Mercer) took $32 million and the support of fellow hoteliers Richard Born and Ira Drukier. In 1998, the doors of a once faded manufacturing facility on Mercer Street were opened as SoHo’s first luxury hotel. Balazs then started residential development, opening One Kenmare Square opened in 2004, followed by 40 Mercer, then Balazs and partner Tamir Sapir opened the William Beaver House in the financial district in 2006. Balazs’ Standard Hotel in the meatpacking district has re-booted nightlife with the swanky Boom Boom Room (a.k.a. The Top of the Standard), where regulars like Madonna and Courtney Love mingle over $25-cocktails. His Le Bain next door is where the younger set skinny dip in the black tiled mini-pool and chain smoke on the Astro-turf covered roof. And in the middle of the action: a grinning Balazs in his signature dinner jackets, having the time of his life. The hot hotelier was previously married to Katie Ford (daughter of Ford Models founder Eileen Ford) with whom he had two daughters, Alessandra and Isabel before their divorce. Balazs then carried on a tumultuous relationship with Uma Thurman until early 2007 and is currently known to be dating late-night comedian and author Chelsea Handler. Most recently, it is rumored that Balazs is looking to buy New York City’s landmark Hotel Chelsea.


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