DREW/FONTAINEBLEAU 2005/2021

SPREAD THE LOVE

The Much Ballyhooed Drew/Fontainebleau has New Owners

               The former Fontainebleau has a new owner, one being its old developer Jeffrey Soffer. The other being the financial stability the project never really had.  This new team can guarantee completion of this project that was started in 2005.
              The real estate wing of conglomerate Koch Industries teamed with Florida developer Jeffrey Soffer to acquire the unfinished Drew Las Vegas property on the Strip.according to a news release.
              The new ownership — Koch Industries is led by billionaire political megadonor Charles Koch, and Soffer heads Fontainebleau Development — did not provide any details on plans for the site.
              Soffer was part of the group that originally built the 60-plus-story megaresort during the mid-2000s bubble, but the project, one of Las Vegas’ tallest buildings, went bankrupt in 2009 after the economy tanked.
              He said he’s not aware of any prior investments by Koch in Las Vegas, and believes the deal shows that investors are counting on Las Vegas’ recovery from the pandemic, which has sparked huge job losses and dealt a crushing blow to the region’s main financial engine, tourism.
             The blue-tinted skyscraper has changed hands a couple of times since but has never been finished ¬— a towering reminder of Las Vegas’ wild real estate craze and devastating crash and, for nearly a year now, the punishing spillover effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

               Developer Steve Witkoff, who had set out to complete the resort, shelved construction after the virus outbreak sparked sweeping shutdowns and other chaos, and the project later faced liens and litigation.
              He said he’s not aware of any prior investments by Koch in Las Vegas, and believes the deal shows that investors are counting on Las Vegas’ recovery from the pandemic, which has sparked huge job losses and dealt a crushing blow to the region’s main financial engine, tourism.
            “We believe strongly in the Las Vegas market and see the property as a great opportunity to contribute to the long-term success and positive trajectory of this vibrant and innovative region,” Jake Francis, president of Koch Real Estate Investments, said in a news release..

               THE FONTAINEBLEAU -  DREW 4,000 Room Resort has a colorful past starting in 2005.
               Plans for the Fontainebleau were unveiled in 2005. The project, led by Soffer and former Las Vegas casino executive Glenn Schaeffer, was named after the 1950s-era Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, which Soffer had agreed to buy months earlier.
              They broke ground in 2007 and expected to open the project in 2009. But the real estate bubble soon burst, and, as the economy spiraled, the developers sued several banks in spring 2009, alleging the “unscrupulous” lenders backed out of their commitment to finance construction of the resort.
              Billionaire Carl Icahn acquired the mothballed project in 2010 for around $150 million and, after leaving it largely untouched, sold it in 2017 for $600 million to Witkoff and Miami real estate firm New Valley, a subsidiary of cigarette maker the Vector Group.

              Witkoff renamed it the Drew in honor of his late son Andrew, who died of an OxyContin overdose in 2011 at age 22. He told the Review-Journal early last year that he was close to obtaining a roughly $2 billion construction loan for the project and would usher in a burst of building activity afterward.
              Then in March, as Las Vegas rapidly shut down over fears of the coronavirus outbreak, he shelved construction of the project.
              Contractors later filed tens of millions of dollars’ worth of liens alleging unpaid bills for their work at the Drew. Several ex-employees also sued Witkoff, alleging they were laid off from the project amid the pandemic and weren’t paid what their contracts called for..
              With all that up and down history the new team will bring stability and finish what will be one of the largest resorts on the Las Vegas Strip..

......for  LAS VEGAS BEST HOTELS ROOM RATES, Restaurants, Nightlife, and Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.