West Palm beach has agreed to sell its resort to a consortium led by billionaire investor Jefferies Group to pay for the construction of a new airport and other amenities, and the town is moving ahead with plans to transform it into a new destination for the resort’s residents and tourists.
Jefferies, which owns the Tropicana hotel chain, is one of the major developers on the project.
The consortium is proposing to build a new $2 billion airport in a 1,500-acre site along the west side of the island, on land already owned by the Palm Beach County government.
It is also developing a hotel, casino and other development.
West Palm Beach Mayor Billie Smith said in a statement that the decision to sell was made in the last week of May.
The city’s land is owned by Jefferies and the Palm Beachers have already negotiated with Jefferies to lease it.
“The City has been in discussions with Jeffersys Group, but there is no agreement,” Smith said.
“We continue to explore other opportunities.”
The decision to make the sale came after a monthslong search for a buyer, Smith said, which included a public meeting in which city officials were asked to weigh in.
Jeffersys will retain ownership of the airport, and Jefferies will maintain ownership of all of the properties surrounding it.
The company will continue to have a financial interest in the airport and the surrounding communities, including the area around West Palm Airport.
The airport will also be included in the group’s master plan.
The sale includes some of West Palm’s most expensive properties, including an 8,000-room Palm Beach International Hotel, a 3,000 parking lot at the site of the former Tropicanas and the 1.6-acre Palm Beach Gardens estate.
It also includes some properties owned by former mayor Michael Cisneros.
Cisneros, who died in 2014, and his son, Robert Cisnero Jr., will continue running the city, the mayor said.
They are the only remaining members of Cisneres family who have been elected mayor.
The deal also includes about 1.2 acres at the former U.S. Navy base at the new airport, which is about 1,000 acres.
The former Navy base is part of a development area that has been approved for the future development of the Tropacas.
The agreement calls for the purchase of the remaining parcels of land that had previously been developed into hotels, restaurants, retail and other businesses.
The land would be managed by Jeffersies, which will continue managing the Tropaels resort.