Resorts World Miami, a subsidiary of casino operator Genting Malaysia, will finally be able to move forward with its plan to build a marina after the city of Miami agreed to lease a tract of submerged land necessary for the project.
Genting’s marina, which could handle 50- to 175-ft vessels, was part of the company’s original plan to build a $3bn luxury casino featuring multiple towers, retail outlets, and an elevated beach and lagoon.
However, the Malaysian-based casino operator was unsuccessful in persuading the Florida legislature to approve gambling on the site. Following this, Genting instead opted to proceed with a revised plan to built a mixed-use development, including a luxury hotel but sans casino, on the $236m lot.
In October 2016, Resorts World Miami representatives said the company was moving ahead to construct the marina, independent of its casino ambitions.
The marina project required the casino developer to lease a section of submerged land but before this could happen, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) needed to deed a strip of bottom- lands back to the city so the city can lease it to Resorts World.
The FDOT’s ownership of the plot dates back to the construction of the MacArthur Causeway which leads to Watson Island and Miami Beach.
“The FDOT has determined the property is no longer needed for the continued maintenance of the MacArthur Causeway and has agreed to convey the property to the city,” read the memo detailing the transfer.
Following this the Miami City Commission voted unanimously to direct the city manager to accept the deed for FDOT’s submerged land, which would be leased along with other submerged land to Genting.
The city is now negotiating terms of the lease with Resorts World Miami.