The Real Deal Miami

Soffers could settle Fontainebleau Las Vegas bankruptcy

Miami judge considering $178M agreement to resolve case
Jeffrey Soffer

Jeffrey Soffer

The Aventura-based Soffer family is close to striking a deal to resolve the federal bankruptcy case involving its disastrous $2 billion Fontainebleau Las Vegas development.

A proposed $178 million settlement is being mulled by a bankruptcy judge in Miami, the Miami Herald reported. The deal would pay contractors on the scuttled casino project the equivalent of 25 cents on the dollar. All creditors and lawyers would eventually be paid through arbitration or court order. That process could take another year or two.

The Fontainebleau bankruptcy case began with a Chapter 11 filing in June 2009. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn paid $93 million for the abandoned tower three years ago, but that payment has remained frozen while the bankruptcy case plays out.

South Florida real estate mogul Jeffrey Soffer and sister Jacquelyn oversee the family’s Turnberry firm, which was instrumental in the development of Aventura. The company’s portfolio includes the Aventura Mall and Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Their vision for the 68-story Las Vegas project was compromised by the nation’s real estate collapse.

Once the bankruptcy case wraps up, Icahn could raze the existing tower and redevelop the site on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis