Sam Chang founded his McSam Hotel Group in 2001, about four years after he bought his first hotel development site in New York City. The Great Neck-based development firm has built and sold more hotels than any other company in the five boroughs, working on as many as 21 hotel projects simultaneously.
Chang and his company have largely carved out a niche in the budget hotel business, building Hiltons and Marriotts on midblock lots in parts of Midtown and Midtown South.
In 2020, Chang threatened to retire from the business, but his company remained pretty busy as 2021 began. McSam had a 34-story, 200-room hotel under construction at 223 West 46th Street in Times Square, a massive 974-room hotel underway at 150 West 48th Street, and two more hotels planned in Hell’s Kitchen and Chinatown. It was also wrapping up work on what Chang had dubbed “the most expensive hotel I’ve ever built,” a 192-key hotel with residences on the top six floors and an upscale restaurant.
In the last few months of 2020, McSam sold off a pair of hotels in Chelsea and Times Square in two sales totalling nearly $180 million. The city’s hotel industry struggled throughout the pandemic, as a drop in visitors forced tens of thousands of rooms to close and pushed several large hotels out of business.