In southern Florida, global casino operator Genting Group reportedly won unanimous support from an influential Miami-Dade County committee last week for its plan to build a 300-room hotel on a small plot of land near the site of its long-proposed Resorts World Miami downtown casino resort project.
According to a report from the Miami Herald, Genting Group has been trying to obtain permission to build its Resorts World Miami scheme on the 5.65-acre site of the newspaper’s former headquarters overlooking Biscayne Bay since 2011 but its attempts have been continuously hindered by local opposition, planning regulations and an inability to secure the appropriate casino license.
However, Thursday reportedly saw the transportation committee for the Miami-Dade County Board Of County Commissioners breathe new life into the stalled casino plan after it approved an unaffiliated proposal to give the Malaysian firm a 90-year lease on an adjacent one-acre plot of public land that would be home to the hotel as well as a renovated bus terminal and new-look Metromover station.
Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez told the newspaper that the proposed hotel deal with Genting Group would generate nearly $55 million in rent and revenue-sharing payments for the county while he put the value of the transit improvements at around $22 million.
Although the plan calls for Genting Group to construct a hotel on the site, the Miami Herald reported that the company would be permitted to alter this designation in order to build a residential complex depending on market conditions.
“The Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover Station is a critical mass transportation hub in the center of our prized downtown Miami property and is in desperate need of revitalization,” read a Friday statement from Michael Levoff, Public Affairs Senior Vice-President for Genting Americas. “Assuming approvals are granted, the station will be modernized and improved with private funds from Resorts World [Miami], creating hundreds of construction jobs in the process.”
The newspaper reported that the proposed hotel structure would sit next to Genting Group’s other downtown Miami holdings, which include the site of the former Omni mall along with the historic Boulevard Shops building, while the firm would be required to start construction within four years.
“I don’t think as a commissioner it gets better than a situation like this where we have a commitment and the partnership is there,” Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman told the newspaper. “What you have is a win-win-win for the county that wants to get transit projects going. This is exceptional.”
Gimenez told the Miami Herald that the latest Genting Group project, which must now be approved at the next full meeting of the 13-member Miami-Dade County Board Of County Commissioners in April, would create 1,871 construction jobs with its hotel employing some 171 people.