De Niro Expands Nobu Empire With Sushi-Condo-Hotel Scheme, Expects Revenues To Top $1 Billion

Sushi restaurant and luxury hotel chain, Nobu Hospitality LLC, expects to top $1 billion in revenue within five years as it expands into the real estate market. Partners Robert De Niro, Meir Teper and chef Nobu Matsuhisa unveiled 550 condos and 36 luxury-hotel suites above a Toronto Nobu restaurant. 

Nobu, founded in 1994 with one sushi restaurant in New York, has swelled to over 40 locations, including Las Vegas and London, according to Nobu Hospitality CEO Trevor Horwell. 

“It’s quite a rapid growth,” Horwell said, breaking ground at the Toronto project on Mercer Street, in the city’s entertainment district, Monday. “Normally in our restaurants we can have over 100,000 customers a year. All we’ve got to do is convert 10 to 15 percent of those customers to fill our hotels. So that’s why we went into hotels.” –Bloomberg

The project was announced last year and sold out in three months, while Nobu plans to complete the $231 million two-tower Toronto project in two-and-a-half years. 

Hotel rooms will cost up to $600 per night, and condo units – most of which have been pre-sold to local residents, will average $650,000, according to Josh Zagdanski, VP for high rise at Toronto-based Madison Group.

I’ve done movies here, a festival here and it’s a logical place for us to open,” said De Niro, who also attended the groundbreaking, complete with gold shovels and Japanese drummers. –Bloomberg

Nobu has also committed to two more mixed-use developments in Los Cabos, Mexico and Sao Paulo, Brazil – and is looking to expand into Taipei, Hong Kong, Jakarta for at least 10 such projects over the next decade, while adding five hotels and restaurants per year. 

New York is also on their radar, however an earlier mixed-use project fell through due to zoning issues, according to Horwell. “We want to do New York without a doubt, but it has to be special,” he said. “If we did a mixed-use, it’d have to be the best, because there’s some great developments there.”

De Niro says he’s hoping to see a Nobu resort in the coming years, and has his eye on Bermuda. “There’s quite a few things in the works,” he said.

One thing we’re sure of – Donald Trump won’t be allowed into any of them. 

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