A 16-acre development site on Biscayne Bay has hit the market, with the seller — a gaming giant from Malaysia that tried and failed to develop a casino — expecting to reap $1B from a sale.
Genting Malaysia Bhd is looking to sell its coveted Downtown Miami waterfront parcel, once home to the Miami Herald, it announced Tuesday, and it has retained Avison Young to market it to potential buyers.
“I’ve been speaking to probably half a dozen buyers this morning alone,” Avison Young Chairman Michael Fay told Bisnow Wednesday. “Everybody will be over a billion dollars for sure.”
Fay, who is the principal managing director of Avison Young’s Miami office, said the site can accommodate up to 20M SF of mixed-use development because it has “the most aggressive entitlements” allowable in the city.
He said that in the less than 24 hours since Bloomberg first reported the listing, investors from the U.S., Latin America, Europe, the United Arab Emirates and Canada have already expressed interest in acquiring the site.
The 6.5-hectare parcel at 1431 North Bayshore Drive is one of the largest undeveloped pieces of land in Miami and has 800 feet of frontage on the bay.
“It is an iconic, transformational site,” Fay said.
Land sales have skyrocketed around Downtown Miami since the pandemic, with dollar volume increasing 150% between 2019 and last year, The Real Deal reported.
Genting bought the vast majority of the parcel in 2011 for $236M, and assumed the mortgage on the rest of the land, including the Omni Center building, that same year, The Wall Street Journal reported. It plans to use the proceeds to fund new development at its property in New York, where it hopes to win one of three newly available licenses, per Bloomberg.
Genting attempted to gain approval for a casino license for the Biscayne Bay site from the state and originally had plans to build a complex, mixed-used development including six buildings with retail, hotel and residential units.
The firm attempted to amend the Florida rule that grants Native American tribes exclusive permission to operate casinos in the state, but its efforts ultimately went nowhere. It will take as its consolation prize an expected return more than four times what it paid.
“South Florida’s popularity only continues to grow, and we are incredibly optimistic about our opportunity to bring a unique development to the area,” Genting Americas East President Robert DeSalvio said in a press release.