The Malaysian casino operator Genting, which once unveiled plans to transform the former Miami Herald property into a large gambling resort in the central part of Miami, is now selling the 15.5-acre piece of land. According to reports, the expected sale price of the property exceeds $1 billion.
The managing director of the Avision Young commercial brokerage’s Miami office, Michael Fay, described the site as “transformational” and “iconic”. The representative of the company that currently holds the listing for the former Miami Herald site confirmed that the brokerage firm already had been interested in getting more than $1 billion from the sale.
Genting decided not to include a hotel complex situated north of the former Herald location, which it currently owns, a property where the existing Hilton and the old Omni mall are situated. According to experts, that would provide the gambling operator with a real estate foothold in case the Malaysian casino company secures a casino operating permit in the months and years to come.
The sale, however, suggests the end of the boldest Miami ambitions of Genting that were unveiled by the company back in 2011. At the time, the company surprisingly acquired the Herald real estate site in a deal estimated at $235 million. The plans for the establishment of a luxury casino resort were set to be decided by the efforts of company lobbyists that were seeking to bring some changes to Florida’s gambling legislation in order to make table games and slot machines legally available to the city waterfront.
Apart from that, the Miami Herald property was used by the Malaysian casino and gambling operator as a way to become part of Miami-Dade’s transit plans, inking a contract with partners to establish a monorail line connecting the old Herald location to South Beach. The deal was turned down by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava at the beginning of November, with the costs increasing to more than $1 billion.
Genting Plans Redevelopment of Other Retail Estate Holdings
Now, the pending sale of Genting’s Miami Herald property is expected to set a new record for commercial real estate prices in Miami, especially considering the fact that the former Herald location is the last undeveloped parcel of downtown Miami waterfront that is held by a private owner. After the demolition of the former Herald offices and printing presses by Genting eight years ago, the parcel remained largely unused, except for temporary events that were held in pavilions and tents.
Mr. Fay from Avision Young explained that the 15.5-acre parcel, which involves not only the Miami Herald site but also nearby properties, is subject to the rapid-transit zoning rules of Miami-Dade county in Florida because of its proximity to the Omni Metromover station.
According to him, a future developer could be permitted to build towers higher than 60 stories, featuring commercial space of about 20 million square feet, as well as up to 7,500 residential units. Michael Fay believes that the space would be a mix of retail, office and lodging, as the developers are expected to take advantage of the fact that the site is among the most valuable not only in South Florida but also in the entire US.
Genting issued a statement, explaining that it still planned to redevelop another real estate holding which is situated north of the site. The President of Genting Americas East, Robert DeSalvio explained that the popularity of South Florida continues to grow, so the gambling and casino company remains optimistic about its opportunity to bring a unique development to the area.