Malaysian gaming group owner Genting Berhad, the parent company of globally placed Resorts World casinos, had been trying to build a casino in Miami for about a decade. While the firm was occasionally able to get the preliminary go-ahead on various infrastructure and auxiliary support elements for the project ranging from a marina to a rail system, it never really came close to getting its foot in the door to build the magnificent waterfront casino of its dreams there (image).
The site is situated on the waterfront at Biscayne Bay in the arts and entertainment district across from Miami Beach.
Now, just four months after letting the commercial world know of its plans to offload the roughly 15-acre parcel that was once the home of the Miami Herald, it is being reported that at least five bidders are vying for the land with bids over $1 billion and one clocking in closer to a billion and a half dollars, according to Bloomberg News.
Record-breaking Bid Could be Approved “Within Weeks”
Miami real estate broker Michael Fay has confirmed that a final decision on the purchase could be made within weeks. The high bid would break records for similar parcels.
Fay told Bloomberg: “If we get what we hope to achieve, this could be the highest price paid for any development site in the country,” according to reports.
Genting is seen as a favorite to snatch up one of three full casino licenses to be tendered in downstate New York this year as it already operates a video lottery terminal (VLT) casino in Queens next to the Aqueduct Raceway, New york’s largest “casino” to date. Another license is expected by many observers to go to MGM Resorts for their VLT casino at the former family-owned Yonkers Raceway. A third is up for grabs and could see a mega-resort with Las Vegas-style gambling in any of half a dozen locations ranging from Citi Field to Coney Island, or even Times Square among other potential sites.
Genting would use proceeds from the sale to finance an expansion of its franchise in New York, according to a press release from the company on November 30, 2022, announcing its intention to offload the property.
At the time President of Genting Americas East, Robert DeSalvio commented: “In the coming months, we will be marshaling our resources with the goal of bringing a full commercial casino to our New York City property and expanding our already-tremendous offerings in Las Vegas. We are thrilled about the opportunities to expand in the two most significant gaming markets in North America.”
Genting also owns Resorts World Las Vegas and Resorts World Catskills at Monticello in upstate New York, one of four upstate casinos authorized by voters in a referendum several years ago.
Potential Billion Dollar Windfall
The company purchased the former Miami Herald site in 2011 for $236 million.
The site already has already had multiple feasibility studies as well as progress toward preliminary approvals for augmentations such as a marina and a monorail system connecting it with the city of Miami.
While it’s unclear how much was spent in maintaining and developing potential for the property, the purchase price and sales price represent a potential billion-dollar profit for the company without a single card being dealt or slot spun.
Source: Prime Miami Waterfront Property Attracts Five Bids Topping $1 Billion, Bloomberg, March 24, 2023