By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
In one of the largest inbound investments in Miami history, Asia’s third largest casino company has reported paying $236 million for the Miami Herald building and the 14 acres of waterfront land surrounding it.
The buyer, a company of the Genting Group that owns Norwegian Cruise Line, acquired the waterfront land from McClatchy Co. for a planned major entertainment and residential project in downtown Miami. Until February, McClatchy was under contract with developer Mark Siffin for 10 acres worth of land; the $190 million planned deal did not include the waterfront parcel nor the media headquarters. While Siffin initially planned a mixed-use project with both residential towers and retail for the 10 acres, his plan took a turn as he replaced the residential component with a parking garage topped by skyscraper-sized electronic billboards that he is currently seeking to relocate in a nearby area.
The proposed project will be called Resorts World Miami. Funding will come from the Genting Group; still gambling does not play a major role in the development if any at all, pending Miami-Dade County approval for on-site or state-wide gambling permission. What Resorts World Miami will definitely include are several hotel, convention, entertainment, retail, residential, and commercial facilities.
According to Mike Speller, president of Resorts World Miami, the over 7 million sq. ft. master plan will also be developed by Genting and will be bordered by 800 feet of waterfront on Biscayne Bay to the east, MacArthur Causeway (part of Interstate 395) on the south, Biscayne Boulevard (part of U.S. 1) on the west and the Venetian Causeway on the north. With both causeways linking Miami International Airport to downtown Miami as well as South Beach and Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts directly adjacent to the site, Resorts World Miami is likely to become a landmark mixed-use development for Miami, Florida and the United States.
During the next two years, both The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald will continue to operate from their current location, rent-free, while McClatchy scouts other sites to relocate its media operations.