After years of changing hands and renewing plans, the Fontainebleau has been called an eyesore, a “towering monument to the recession,” and a “735-foot memorial to misplaced hopes” – but not for long, if developer Steve Witkoff and the New Valley investment firm have anything to say about it.
At Sky Condos, we’ve kept close tabs on the enormous, long-standing development across the street from our luxury condo community. Construction plans were on and off throughout the 2000s, but the promise of something spectacular has never faded far from the surface. In August 2017, the property was finally sold to investment firms Witkoff and New Valley and since then, the buzz around Fontainebleau has been as frenetic as ever.
What will become of the property? When can visitors to Las Vegas plan on booking a room at the long-awaited casino and hotel? Here’s what we know so far about the evolution of the elusive property, and what we can expect to see in the near future.
The History of Fontainebleau
The property at 2755 Las Vegas Boulevard South went up in the late 1940s as The Thunderbird. Caesars World purchased the hotel in 1972, and in the decades that followed the casino became a musical chairs game of proposed themes. In the 90s, developers imagined the property as a futuristic casino or country-themed establishment. A Countryland USA sign even went up on The Strip — but by 2000 it had come back down.
In 2005, the land was purchased by Fontainebleau Resorts with plans to create a sister property to the historic Fontainebleau Miami Beach. It looked like the Fontainebleau would finally see its doors open, and the potential to revitalize the block was incredible. In reality, progress didn’t begin until 2007 and within two years the recession took its toll on the property. The multi-billion dollar Las Vegas Fontainebleau project never came to fruition.
The project went bankrupt in 2009 and the following year, Carl Icahn — billionaire investor and former owner of the Stratosphere — purchased the property for $156.6 million.
After almost another decade, it looks like Fontainebleau may finally get its happy ending.
Witkoff and New Valley bought the complex in August 2017 for a whopping $600 million. The following November, the county issued the necessary permits to the developers, which reflect that Penta Building Group have been hired as the contractors in charge of delivering on the Fontainebleau’s new blueprints.
While the developers have been relatively tight-lipped about their exact timeline and plan for the complex, they hinted in December 2017 that the property would get a new name — and as of February 2018, we know this for sure. The fresh start for the complex will bring a fresh identity, along with a host of other exciting plans for the space.
What We Know About Plans for the Property
So, when can you start booking a room? Here’s what we know about the imminent and long-term plans for the new hotel and casino.
- The property will be re-named The Drew Las Vegas.
- It’s scheduled to open in late 2020.
- Neighboring property owners indicate that construction may begin as soon as early 2018.
- The hotel complex did see some construction before being halted, and all signs point toward the new developer utilizing what has already been erected.
- The Drew will feature the first JW Marriott on The Las Vegas Strip, complete with 4,000 rooms and suites, and a casino.
- The Drew will also be home to Marriott’s fast-growing, boutique-style Edition brand, which is planned to debut across five continents by 2020.
- Guests will enjoy not only a plethora of entertainment, retail and dining options, but also an impressive 8.5 acre pool deck.
- It’s planned to hold the largest convention and meeting space on the strip (an area of 500,000 square feet), with the possibility of a bridge connecting The Drew to the expanded Las Vegas Convention Center.
- Rumors abound that the property will remain high end. As demand for more amenities and modern establishments in Vegas continues to soar, it looks like this complex will deliver a memorable and upscale experience.
The North Strip is thriving more than ever before, and The Drew Las Vegas project stands to add to the excitement of the area. Stay tuned for more information on The Drew, and get ready to book your modern room with a view in the next few years. While only time will tell exactly what develops with the project, it’s looking like The North Strip has a new hot property on its hands. As Las Vegas locals who happen to live nearby, we’re more excited than ever to see what’s in store in our very own neighborhood.
Ready to embrace the luxury lifestyle on The Strip? Contact our friendly staff at Sky Condos to learn more about our beautiful Las Vegas condos.