Jeffrey Soffer Buys Out the Dubai Government’s 50 Percent Share in the Iconic Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach
Soffer will be regaining total control of the 1504-room resort hotel after selling half of its shares to Dubai World in 2008 for $375 million
Jeffrey Soffer and his wife Elle MacPherson / Getty
Jeffrey Soffer, and his partners Brett Plant and Glenn Schaeffer, the former of the Mandalay Resort Group, will be paying out an undisclosed sum for the 50% share in the hotel through the which they jointly own, with Soffer holding down the role of CEO.
Turnberry initially purchased the Fontainebleau in 2005 and recruited Dubai World as a partner in 2008. The Fontainebleau Resorts group, whose head office is in Las Vegas, also own and operate a number of hotel and condominium projects in Miami Beach and Las Vegas, with several more in various stages of construction.
In a recent statement Glen Schaeffer broadly hinted the Fontainebleau Resorts group is considering seeking an IPO in order to raise money to keep pace with their multi-billion dollar development plans.
One of the undoubted jewels in their crown will be the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a feature on the Miami skyline for close to sixty years, can recognized throughout the world because of its distinctive curved façade. The hotel, designed by internationally renowned architect Morris Lapidus, will remember by classic film buffs the swimming pool of the hotel is also shown in the 1959 film A Hole in the Head, starring Frank Sinatra, and was also the setting for Jerry Lewis’s 1960 comedy film, The Bellboy. The Fontainebleau’s unique façade also acted as a backdrop for the opening scenes in the James Bond film “Goldfinger shot in 1964.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
During the swinging sixties, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach was very much at the center of things in Miami, as a favorite watering hole of the “Rat Pack” of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr. as well as dozens of other stars of stage and screen.
Sadly after its halcyon days of the fifties and sixties, sadly during the seventies, like much of the hotels on the Miami beachfront, the Fontainebleau Hotel fell into disrepair, reaching the extent that the hotel was on the verge of bankruptcy when it was acquired by real estate developer Stephen Muss in 1978 for just $27 million. Muss promptly invested an additional $100 million to bring some much-needed new life into the hotel, as well as bringing the internationally renowned Hilton Hotel company in to manage it.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
The Fontainebleau enjoyed this new lease of life for more than quarter of a century till Muss sold the hotel on to Turnberry Associates, partly owned by Jeffrey Soffer‘s father, Donald for $165 million in 2005.
Once again the hotel went through a period of re- organization and renovation, opening again in 2008, after a complete re-fit costing $620 million, with Dubai World being brought in as partners to share the costs.
Jeffrey Soffer is an American real estate developer who with his partners and related business enterprises has succeeded in developing 20 million square feet of retail space, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 2000 hotel rooms and more than 7000 condos, with the Turnberry company believed to be responsible for the development of more than $7 billion worth of property worldwide.
Soffer is as well known for his hectic private life as his business achievements, having recently married international model, Elle MacPherson after narrowly surviving a fatal helicopter crash in the Bahamas at the end of last year. November 2012 after he narrowly survived that claimed the life of his friend. Soffer was left with a fractured vertebrae as well as a few other sundry broken bones.