Genting's New Plans for Herald Site Don't Include a Casino (For Now Anyway)

The most dramatic thing about Genting Group's new plans for the Miami Herald site is how unambitious they are. Ten months after sending shockwaves through Miami by unveiling ostentatious plans that called for giant undulating towers surging into the sky around a full-service casino, the Malaysian gambling powerhouse is now pursuing a vision that is pretty standard for Miami. The scaled-back plans do not include a casino, and thought a hotel might be built, it will be about a tenth of the size of the original.

Genting spoke publicly about its new plans for the first time, and according to the Herald, here's what the company now has in store for the bayfront property:

  • two condo towers
  • a 500-room hotel (down from the 5,000 rooms mentioned in the first plan)
  • 100,000 square feet of boutiques and restaurants, or as the Herald puts it: "about the size of a small department store)
  • no casino (perhaps what is absent is most significant)

"We've listened and we've heard what people said," Christian Goode, president of the project, known as Resorts World Miami, told the Herald. "This will complement the existing downtown skyline. We want to make sure we put a project forward that everybody is happy with and that adds value to the city of Miami."

However, the project might not come to be known as Resorts World Miami. The hotel may ultimately be opened under one of more than a dozen luxury hotel brands that are interested in the project.

Genting's original approach was shock and awe. The fact that full-service casinos are not legal in Florida seemed of little matter to the company at the time. But after the Florida Legislature shelved a bill that would have allowed three casinos in South Florida, Genting retreated faster than a French army.

That doesn't mean its hopes of bringing a casino to Miami have evaporated.

"We're here for the long haul," Goode told the Herald. "We still think a large destination resort is something that would have a very dramatic positive impact on the South Florida economy. But we've moved on and realized there is a different path."

Genting has not actually revealed the new plans for the site aside from the above details, so don't be surprised if the company leaves lots of room for future development. Instead of going all in on one hand, it has now settled in for a longer game.

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