Miami Waterfront Property Has $1 Billion Asking Price

From a Wall Street Journal story by Deborah Acosta headlined “Downtown Miami Waterfront Property Has $1 Billion Asking Price”:

Genting Malaysia Bhd., the Southeast Asia casino operator, is marketing 15.5 acres of waterfront land in downtown Miami with an asking price of about $1 billion.

“There’s never been a property of this size ever available, at this kind of location,” said Michael T. Fay, the managing director of Avison Young‘s Miami office, which is marketing the parcel.

Recent parcel sales in the area show that land can command a high price. Ken Griffin, chief executive of the hedge fund firm Citadel, paid $363 million for 2.5 acres of bayfront property. The casino operator’s parcel is more than six times the size.

The Genting parcel, located at 1431 N. Bayshore Drive, has 800 linear feet of direct Biscayne Bay frontage.

“South Florida’s popularity only continues to grow, and we are incredibly optimistic about our opportunity to bring a unique development to the area,” said Robert DeSalvio, president, Genting Americas East.

Genting bought 14 acres of the property, which included the Miami Herald building, in 2011 for $236 million. Later that year Genting gained control of the $206 million mortgage on the adjacent Omni Center, hoping to develop a casino on the property. The firm lobbied the state for an exception to the Florida rule that says only Native American tribes can operate casinos, but the state wouldn’t make an exception.

Genting would retain ownership of another 10 acres that isn’t waterfront but is contiguous to the property listed for sale. The property it is retaining includes the Hilton Miami Downtown and the Omni parking garage.

The Malaysian company hopes to use proceeds from a sale in Miami to invest in an existing property that offers some forms of gambling in Queens, N.Y., where it is hoping to get a full casino license, according to people familiar with the matter. New York state legislators have approved up to three casino licenses for the New York City area.

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