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Arnold M. Knightly

Cosmo condo owners may see closings in 2010

8 September 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Holders of contracts for condominium units at the Cosmopolitan are expected to begin closing on their units by the second quarter of 2010, according to a letter sent on Friday to brokers by the resort's new developer.

The letter will be sent Monday to holders of hard purchase contracts on nearly 1,825 units at the hotel-condominium development on the Strip.

David Vapnitsky, who has held a contract on a unit since 2005, said it's a comfort to hear something definitive on the condominium units for the first time since he placed a down payment.

"It's a comfort to know which direction we're going in," Vapnitsky said. "We had heard nothing for so long that it's comforting to hear this news. I'm happy the project will be completed and built."

The letter, signed by Related Cos. executive vice president Ron Wackrow, updates for potential buyers the progress of the project including the new development team hired by Deutsche Bank earlier this week.

The 2,998-unit hotel-condominium project is now scheduled to top off in December.

The Cosmopolitan was originally designed with 2,184 condominium units.

Original developer Bruce Eichner, who is no longer involved with the project, told the Wall Street Journal in March that 83 percent of the project's condominium units have been sold, with buyers putting down 20 percent nonrefundable deposits on sales totaling $1.35 billion.

New York-based Related Cos. has been hired by the bank to finish development of the $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan project on the Strip, an affiliate of the bank announced Wednesday.

Deutsche Bank was the high bidder, paying $1 billion, at a recent foreclosure sale to secure ownership of the project.

The bank is still negotiating with hotel operators to run the hotel and casino and an announcement is expected in the next few months.

Deutsche Bank has taken over full ownership of the project under an affiliate, Nevada Property I, and will continue to coordinate design and construction of the project.