Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad is reportedly marketing some of its Miami property holdings at north of $1 billion. That’s as the company focuses on other casino gaming ventures in the US.
Genting is looking to sell 16.5 acres of prime, undeveloped real estate along Biscayne Bay if it’s able to command $1 billion or more. It will have more than quadrupled its investment after having purchased the land for $236 million in 2011.
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,” Robert DeSalvio, president of Genting Americas East, said in a statement provided to Bloomberg News. “We are thrilled about the opportunities to expand in the two most significant gaming markets in North America.”
Genting acquired the land in hopes of ultimately building a casino-resort there. But construction of new gaming venues in Florida is difficult because of the stranglehold on the state’s gaming industry maintained by the Seminole Tribe. The tribe operates casinos under the Hard Rock brand.
The Malaysian conglomerate previously pitched local lawmakers on a gaming venue with six towers featuring mixed hotel and residential accommodations. Genting plans to keep the acres on which the Hilton Miami Downtown hotel and Omni Center currently reside.
Genting New York State of Mind
It’s not unreasonable to expect that Genting will be able to garner the desired $1 billion-plus price tag on the Miami land. That’s because the property is in a highly desirable location and the South Florida real estate market is booming. That’s thanks to an influx of residents from California and the Northeast looking to escape punitively high costs of living.
Even after taxes, Genting will have ample capital with which to bolster its existing US gaming operations, including focusing on New York. As Bloomberg reports, the company is opening a slots-only venue in Newburgh, NY next month. More importantly, Resorts World Casino in Queens is in line to shed its slots-only status and become a traditional full-service casino. Should the operator receive approval for that transition, capital will be needed to enhance that property.
Genting also controls Resorts World Catskills in the northern part of New York, and Resorts World Las Vegas on the Strip, the latter of which could also be on the receiving end of some proceeds from the Miami land sale.
$1 Billion-Plus Could Be Ambitious
While the Miami-area commercial and residential real estate markets are among the hottest in the US, $1 billion and up deals there are still hard to come by.
“Properties that refinanced this year, and appraised above $1 billion, include the Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton, with a $1.72 billion valuation, and Simon Property Group’s Dolphin Mall, with a $1.67 billion appraisal,” according to Bloomberg.
It also remains to be seen if Genting is still eyeing a New York share listing for its US assets, and if the Miami real estate transaction could affect those plans.
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