Thursday, October 13, 2011

Genting nears deal to secure Miami site for US$3.8b project

KUALA LUMPUR: The Genting Group has moved closer to its plan for the US$3.8 billion Resorts World Miami project in Florida after reaching a deal with a property owner.

The Miami Herald said on Wednesday, Oct 12 said the Genting Group had reached an agreement with the owner of the Omni Center to move forward on a friendly foreclosure on the property.

The centre was set to be auctioned on Oct. 27. If all goes according to plan, Genting should have title to the property by Nov. 7, the report quoted Resorts World Genting general counsel Jessica Hoppe as saying.

To recap, Genting had in September gained control over the entire US$206 million mortgage on the Omni despite earlier protests from the owner of the Omni, Argent Ventures.

The Miami Herald said the Omni purchase would be used by Genting to leverage in its quest to gain approval from state legislators for a gaming licence by providing an immediate source of new revenue and jobs.

The news report said Genting's strategy was to turn the Omni into the first stage of the US$3.8 billion Resorts World Miami with the ability to open a casino with restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities as soon as fall 2012 ' within months of receiving potential approval from state legislators for a gambling license.

The next step was a casino would go into the currently unused retail portion of the Omni Center. The Omni project is expected to create 1,500 CONSTRUCTION [] jobs and 5,000 permanent jobs.

'Genting plans to spend nearly $700 million on structural and cosmetic improvements to the Omni, Hoppe said. These would include renovating the Omni's existing Hilton hotel and refurbishing the exterior of the entire facility,' the Miami Herald said.

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