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Deutsche Bank affiliate files for casino license as Cosmopolitan owner

An affiliate of Deutsche Bank has filed for a casino license as the 100 percent owner of the Cosmopolitan, the Gaming Control Board confirmed Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank, however, declined to comment on the application, which was filed last month. The bank would not comment on whether it hopes to eventually sell part of the project or if it is still negotiating with third-party companies to operate the hotel or the casino.

An agreement with Hilton Hotels Corp. to operate the property under the Conrad and Hilton brands has been rumored, but the bank has continually refused to confirm that scenario.

The license application was filed by Nevada VoteCo., a limited-liability company that is 100 percent owner of The Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino.

The bank bought the project in August 2008, when it was only half finished, for $1 billion in foreclosure after New York developer Bruce Eichner and his partners defaulted on a nearly $760 million construction loan.

The $3.9 billion, 2,998-room mixed use development is scheduled to open in September 2010 on 8.5 acres between MGM Mirage’s CityCenter and Bellagio properties on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Deutsche Bank hired New York-based Related Cos. in September 2008 to oversee completion of the resort’s construction.

In July, Deutsche Bank hired former Caesars Palace general manager John Unwin as the resort’s chief executive officer. The bank also hired a chief financial officer in September.

Deutsche Bank’s application comes as an agreement has been reached between the bank and perspective condominium buyers to return a portion of deposits on 1,322 units inside the project’s West Tower.

Disputes about deposits for the 800-unit East Tower, which could represent as much as $112 million in deposits, remain unresolved and could end up in court.

The bank officials put forward for licensing are: Jeff Baer, Deutsche Bank’s global head of sourcing and corporate real estate; Donna Milrod, Deutsche Bank’s head or regional oversight and strategy; and Jon Vaccaro, Deutsche Bank’s global head of the commercial real estate group.

The current position of a fourth applicant, Eric Schwartz, could not be verified on Tuesday.

Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at aknightly@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

Reporter Tony Illia of the Las Vegas Business Press contributed to this report.

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