- Drew Las Vegas contractors claim more than $36 million for unpaid bills
- The construction was suspended on March by the owner after the escalation of coronavirus spread
- The owner still hopes to successfully complete the construction
- Witkoff had hoped for a $2bn loan to help out in the construction by February 2020
- Drew Las Vegas among the two properties that suspended construction during the shutdown
Three months after Drew Las Vegas owner called for the suspension of construction, contractors have filed paperwork for unpaid bills of over £36 million.
The lead construction team of the project on Monday, June 15, filed paperwork claiming about $18 million with other demolition and architecture firms filing liens as early as April. This is according to Clark County records.
In total, the contractors have filed outstanding liens of more than $36.6 million over the project as of Monday.
Construction suspended in March
This comes after Drew owner Steve Witkoff in March suspended the construction of the multi-million-dollar project, the unfinished blue-tinted former Fontainebleau. This was after the escalation of coronavirus cases in the US during the month that prompted many business closures.
However, the owner, through a representative, claimed that he still hoped to complete the 67-story megaresort construction. Stating that it was an unprecedented time, he went on to express his confidence in completing the project saying that they were actively working with lenders and partners.
History of liens
This is not the first time in history liens have been filed. Records show that they can get paid off with others reduced.
As one of the tallest buildings in Las Vegas, the journey has been torrid. While the Fontainebleau started during the mid-2000s, a bankruptcy case has been reported over time and even after getting new owners and name, the skyscraper still remains unfinished.
Records indicate that AECOM Hunt and Penta Building Group, a joint venture, and the construction’s lead team, had filed the biggest lien of $29.4 million but slashed it on Monday. They refused to comment on the matter.
Henderson architecture firm Bergman Walls & Associates had filed the second biggest lien of about $12.5 million. They did not also issue a comment.
A partnership between Witkoff and New Valley, a Miami real estate firm, in 2017 teamed up to buy Fontainebleau for $600 million. This was after Carl Icahn, the seller, had acquired the project for around $150 million in 2010. It was left untouched since then.
In early 2018, the project would be renamed and unveiled by Witkoff and scheduled its opening date late in 2020. At the start of the year, he projected the completion of the project by fall 2022. The property would feature 3,800 rooms.
Speaking to Review-Journal in January, Witkoff said that he expected a $2bn construction loan by February 2020 to help in the construction.
However, this was not to be with the coronavirus pandemic upending daily life and largely affecting the travel industry and ultimately the US economy.
Drew Las Vegas one of two to suspend construction
The Las Vegas governor, Steve Sisolak, would later order the closure of Nevada businesses and casinos in March to help curb the further spread of the virus. However, he let the construction sites remain operational alongside grocery stores and hospitals.
Building activities have proceeded during the pandemic with only two exceptions including the Drew Las Vegas after suspending its construction on March 17. MSG Sphere at The Venetian valued for $1.66bn was the other suspended project pushing its completion year further.