MIAMI (AP) — The company that purchased The Miami Herald building is putting its proposal for what they said would be the world's largest casino on the back burner.
Instead, phase one of the bayfront project will focus on a luxury hotel and two condominiums, said Resorts World Miami spokesman Tadd Schwartz.
The plans are more modest than the $3.8 billion project Malaysia-based Genting Group announced in 2011 after buying the property for $236 million. The original 14-acre project featured coral-reef-inspired skyscrapers, a new three-mile Baywalk, four hotels with a total of 5,200 rooms, two residential towers with 1,000 units and a massive casino.
The first phase will build on the 5-acre Miami Herald site and include a few stories of restaurants, shops, meeting rooms and underground parking that will have an open-air vibe that Schwartz says is pedestrian friendly. The condos and hotel will sit above that podium. Developers hope to sign a deal with a luxury hotel of at least a four-star caliber that will include between 200 and 500 rooms, Schwartz said.
Developers are still hoping to build a casino and say there is plenty of land surrounding the planned hotel and condos to do so if Florida laws change to allow resort casinos. So far, those efforts have been unsuccessful as a diverse coalition— ranging from Disney World, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and existing dog and horse track owners worried about their future — want lawmakers to reject the concept.
The Miami Herald will move out in May. Miami's preservation board turned down a bid last year that would have designated the building as a protected landmark.