The Real Deal Miami

Fontainebleau reopen has rough backdrop

November 17, 2009 10:18AM

A year after a celebrity-studded gala reopening of the $650 million renovation of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, financial woes have overshadowed the glitz. Contractors say they were ordered to work double- or triple-time to get the Fontainebleau ready for the Nov. 15, 2008 party, replete with Victoria’s Secret models stalking the runway in a televised lingerie show, and are owed more than $60 million. Bankruptcy looms as a possibility, a senior executive admitted, saying the $600 million construction loan weighs heavily on its finances. The investment arm of the Dubai government, which paid developer Jeffrey Soffer’s ownership group $375 million for a 50 percent stake in the Fontainebleau, exercised its option to take over restructuring negotiations if there were problems with the resort’s loans. Nakheel Leisure managing director Hamza Mustaffa said his company was working with Soffer. [Miami Herald]