Turnberry Associates and Stephen Muss Reach Agreement on Sale of World-Renowned Fontainebleau Hilton Resort; Turnberry to Launch $150 Million Enhancement/Renovation Plan

MIAMI BEACH, Fla.--()--Jan. 24, 2005--Aventura-based Turnberry Associates and Stephen Muss, owner of the Fontainebleau Hilton, recently announced they have reached agreement by which Turnberry will purchase the legendary resort, a property synonymous with Miami Beach's emergence as a world-renowned destination.

Turnberry will launch an estimated two-year, $150 million campaign to include new signature restaurants, a world-class spa, Las Vegas-style entertainment amenities and a complete refurbishment of the hotel's expansive meeting/banquet and public space.

For the past several years, Turnberry and the Muss family have been involved in a joint-venture, steered by Turnberry Principal Jeffrey Soffer and Fontainebleau President of Development Melanie Muss, to develop two condominium-hotel towers on the south end of the resort's 18-acre property. The sold-out, 36-story Fontainebleau II is scheduled to open next month and groundbreaking for the 18-story Fontainebleau III is set for early this year. When complete, the condo-hotels will add more than 750 suites and the Fontainebleau will comprise more than 1,600 rooms.

"The Fontainebleau is the crown jewel of Miami Beach and plays a leading role in South Florida's tourism industry," said Soffer, whose company has created such landmarks as Turnberry Isle Resort and Golf Club, Porto Vita and Aventura Mall. "Our plan is to take the many elements that have made the Fontainebleau an international success and incorporate our own unique style to further enhance one of the world's most desired destination resorts."

Designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus, the Fontainebleau's curved facade is a landmark icon. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the resort has welcomed millions of visitors; seen every president since Eisenhower walk through its doors; hosted entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Elvis Presley; and served as the set for numerous films and television shows, including James Bond's "Goldfinger," "The Bodyguard" and "The Sopranos."

"It's been an incredibly wonderful ride and selling the Fontainebleau is bittersweet," said Stephen Muss. "But the Muss and Soffer families share the same vision for this property and I am confident it will continue as one of the strongest and most exciting convention resort hotels in the country."

Soffer added that Melanie Muss will remain in her current position and play an active role in bringing Turnberry's plans to fruition.

"One of the Fontainebleau's greatest attributes is its outstanding staff," Soffer said. "We look forward to working with everyone to continue the exemplary level of service for which the Fontainebleau is known worldwide."

Stephen Muss moved to South Florida from New York in the 1960s and developed several Miami Beach condominiums, including five Seacoast Towers and Tower House. Also, in a joint-venture with Equitable Life, he created the Towers of Key Biscayne and Towers of Quayside condominium communities. He purchased the Fontainebleau out of bankruptcy in 1978 and has continued to establish it as one of South Florida's premier resorts.

Founded in 1967, Turnberry Associates has developed more than $5 billion in commercial and residential real estate, including approximately 20 million square feet of retail development, in excess of 5,000 luxury condominium and condominium-hotel residences, 1.5 million square feet of Class A office space and more than 1,640 hotel and luxury resort rooms.

In addition to the Fontainebleau condominium-hotels, the company is creating several other South Florida projects, including Turnberry Ocean Colony, two 37-story luxury condominium towers on Sunny Isles Beach and Turnberry Village, a Mediterranean-inspired, mid-rise condominium community in Aventura.

Turnberry also is developing several major projects near the Las Vegas Strip, including The Residences at MGM Grand, a condominium-hotel complex at the famed casino resort; Turnberry Place, a $650 million condominium community; Turnberry Towers, two 45-story high-rise residential towers; and Town Square Las Vegas, a 1.2-million-square-foot super regional lifestyle center.

The company also recently announced a joint-venture condominium-hotel project at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas.


O'Connell & Goldberg, Inc., Hollywood, Fla.
Jim O'Connell/Matt Levinson, 954-964-9098


O'Connell & Goldberg, Inc., Hollywood, Fla.
Jim O'Connell/Matt Levinson, 954-964-9098