Fontainebleau in Las Vegas sold to NYC real estate firms, to be renamed

A view of the stalled Fontainebleau resort, right, on Las Vegas Boulevard South on Dec. 30, 2014. Fontainebleau was sold to New York real estate firms Witkoff Group LLC and New Valley LLC for $600 million in August 2017.

Icahn Enterprises L.P. has sold the Fontainebleau, the large unfinished hotel and casino on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, to Witkoff and New Valley LLC for $600 million.

The Witkoff company said today in a statement that it had “identified numerous ways to unlock the significant underlying value of the property,” only referring to the property by its address and calling it “formerly known as the Fontainebleau.”

The initial developers of the resort, Fontainebleau Resorts of Miami, spent $2 billion on the property. However, the project’s lenders decided to stop funding when the recession hit in 2008.

The developers of the planned hotel and casino declared bankruptcy in 2009, and Icahn purchased the property in early 2010 for $148 million.

In an Icahn Enterprises L.P. press release, majority shareholder Carl Icahn said the resort was carried on his company’s balance sheet for $143 million, and the sale made $457 million for his company’s owners. Icahn Enterprises L.P. is a publically traded on the NASDAQ.

Witkoff did not outline plans for the property, which it called “a well-designed, structurally sound integrated resort.” That could imply it would not be demolishing the unfinished building.

The Witkoff Group owns hotels in New York, Miami, and West Hollywood. New Valley LLC, a subsidiary of Vector Group Limited, also owns hotels those locations — some in partnership with Witkoff — as well as in Bermuda and the Caribbean island of Saint-Barthelemy.