The first quarter has been a busy one for real estate development and management firm Molasky Group of Las Vegas.
PH Milwaukee LLC, an affiliate of Molasky Group, bought the former headquarters of St. Francis Hospital for $12.75 million with plans to convert it into the Milwaukee-area offices for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a report by the Journal Sentinel.
The 78,000-square-foot building, located at 3600 S. Lake Drive in Milwaukee, was sold by Lake Drive Ventures LLC.
In October, the FBI announced it will move its offices and 200 employees to South Lake Drive in early 2016, under a 20-year-lease. The Journal Sentinel also reported that St. Francis Hospital is providing $2.48 million to help finance the $9 million project, with its property taxes from the improvements repaying those city funds.
The Molasky Group has built regional field offices for the FBI in Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Portland and San Diego. Of course, Molasky has built a few things here too — like the Social Security Administration building, the Clark County Detention Center and the 17-story Molasky Corporate Center.
And the work keeps coming from across the country.
Down South, the final steel beam was put in place on Feb. 19 at the $71.8 million office building of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia in the Midland area of Columbus. That project also is owned by Molasky Group, according to a report by the Columbus Ledger Enquirer.
The 245,000-square-foot structure will house the health insurer’s service center when it’s completed in August. The three-story building will be home to about 1,500 employees, with capacity for 2,000, the Columbus Ledger Enquirer reported.
General contractor Batson-Cook is using 1,339 tons of steel to construct the facility in Muscogee Technology Park, a 1,152-acre business park in the northeast area of Columbus. Batson-Cook said more than 40 companies have had a hand in designing and constructing the office building.
Sands seeks Korean deal
Las Vegas Sands Corp. has its eye on South Korea, according to a report by Casino.org.
The Sands is looking to build a $4.5 billion casino complex in Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea, but only if the government is willing to allow locals to gamble in the casino.
According to casino.org, only one of the 17 casinos in South Korea allow locals to play. The remaining casinos in the nation are only for foreigners. Las Vegas Sands Corp. Founding Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson has said he’d have no interest in building a casino to serve that audience exclusively.
This isn’t the first time that the Sands expressed interest in Korea. Last September, George Tanasijevich, Sands managing director of global development, said the company was looking to build an iconic resort near Jamsil Stadium, one of the sites of the 1988 Olympic Games.
During that time, Tanasijevich said that allowing locals in would be a requirement for a Sands investment, but that the company was open to rules similar to those in Singapore, where locals must pay fees and demonstrate that they can meet financial benchmarks in order to play.
Casino.org reported that Tanasijevich met with Busan Mayor Suh Byong-soo on Feb. 13, and that Suh appeared to be on board with the plan. He reportedly said that integrated resorts are necessary to Busan in order to draw tourists to the region and that the central government should revise existing gaming laws to make such a project possible.
Casinos in South Korea have traditionally been built as a way to increase revenue from foreign tourists, so the government may not be persuaded even if the nation would make significant revenue by letting South Koreans gamble at the resort.
Allowing Sands to have such a casino might anger other operators, who in turn may ask for the same rights for their casinos as well.
For now, the Sands is hoping to win over officials by touting the economic benefits of such a resort. Tanasijevich said that the resort could generate as much as $355 million in new tax revenues for the Korean government, and that more than 50,000 jobs could be created.
Islands coming to Vegas
Hawaii furniture, jewelry and accessories retailer and manufacturer Martin &MacArthur opened the first of two mainland stores in Las Vegas late last month, according to Pacific Business News.
The Honolulu-based company, which is known for its koa wood furniture and accessories, opened a store at the Grand Bazaar Shops outside of Bally’s Las Vegas on Feb. 26, and will open a second location at the Grand Canal Shops of The Venetian on April 1.
“All of us in Hawaii go to Las Vegas more times than you can think, but we’ve never seen a retailer that’s focused on wood craftsmanship,” Martin &MacArthur President and CEO Michael Tam said in a statement to the Pacific Business News. “Las Vegas is a meeting ground for the world, and it represents a great venue for us to show the works of Hawaii craftsmen to a lot of different people at once.”
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