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April 18, 2014

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$1.2 billion in Fontainebleau construction permits pulled

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Sam Morris

The hulking shell of Fontainebleau sits dark on the Strip. Construction was halted on the resort in summer 2009 after lenders pulled $800 million in financing.

Fontainebleau

The stalled Fontainebleau project is seen Jan. 15, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Some $1.2 billion in construction permits were pulled for the idled Fontainebleau casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip this month — but no one is saying if that means construction will actually resume anytime soon.

Clark County Development Services, the county office that tracks the issuance of building permits, reported last week that a company that acquired the Fontainebleau property on the Strip pulled 47 permits for projects at the development’s 2777 Las Vegas Blvd. South address.

But county officials said today this may be just a procedural effort.

The 47 permits listed Icahn Nevada Gaming Acquisition – a subsidiary of investor Carl Icahn’s business empire – as the owner and Las Vegas-based Taylor International Corp. as the contractor.

The permits listed a variety of projects, including casino, hotel and restaurant remodelings, miscellaneous commercial structure work and parking structure modifications.

All the permits were issued June 10 and the total value of all 47 permits exceeds $1.2 billion.

Representatives of Icahn Enterprises and Taylor International did not return calls clarifying whether there are any plans to resume construction at Fontainebleau, the 68-floor, 3,800-room project that fell into bankruptcy in June 2009 and was acquired by Icahn in January.

Dean Friedli, assistant director of Clark County Development Services, said building permits typically are effective for six months, but during the recession, several companies have appealed to department director Ron Lynn for extensions. Lynn was unavailable for comment today.

Friedli said companies that have shut down projects must file for permits to secure a site. Because Clark County expects to update its building code with new requirements, it’s advantageous to owners to get extensions so they don’t have to pay higher fees or upgrade to more expensive materials included in new regulations, he said.

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