Instead of masking the unfinished Fontainebleau Las Vegas that was purchased out of bankruptcy for $150 million in 2010, the billionaire who bought the property is offering up the long-neglected casino-hotel for $650 million.
The 63-tower with 3,900 rooms at the Las Vegas Strip’s north end owned by Carl Icahn and his firm, Icahn NV Gaming Acquisition LLC, will be listed by the firm of CBRE Las Vegas, according to an announcement on Wednesday by firm execs, John Knott and Michael Parks. Fontainebleau Resorts LLC, a privately held company, began work on the property in February 2007, and about two years later in 2009 construction on the $2.9 billion property ceased.
Last week a relatively routine request for a time extension for an off-site improvement bond by the property’s owner was turned into an opportunity by county lawmakers when they ordered a portion of the 730-foot tower to be covered up. The unattractive gaps in the tower’s blue-glass facade have been present for several years. Monthly inspections by Clark County Commission officials have found that the property is in good shape and that no structural risks are present.
In addition to the Fontainebleau’s initial agreement, the Venetian agreed to cover up an unfinished tower looming over the Strip, and the Echelon project which was sold to the Genting Group by Boyd Gaming before that site needed to be covered also agreed.
Had the extension been voted down by the commissioners, access to bond money already set aside would have been lost and off-site improvements could have been started by the county to the public areas surrounding the site. The extension was approved on Wednesday by county commissioners and as part of the agreement the company was to submit plans within 90 days to cover the structure’s first three floors facing the Strip and given six months to complete construction. However, now that the property is for sale it remains to be seen if that agreement and terms are still in effect.
The company’s latest request for off-site improvement bonds last year was denied by the county’s public works department because it was believed that the developer had sufficient time to complete the project. The company said at that time the economic timing wasn’t right to complete the casino-hotel, which county officials agreed with considering the Alon Las Vegas Casino Resort and Resorts World mega-project are expected to open by 2018.