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Don Barden Assures May 2009 Opening for Majestic Star Despite Contractor Problems

On July 1st, 2008, the building of the planned Pittsburgh slots facility has grinded into a halt for about two weeks until the contractor is paid the $10 million that the casino owed to the contractor, according to the spokesperson of the casino developer. The spokesperson for the Majestic Star Casino developer Don Barden, Bob Oltmanns commented that the $120 million funding for the casino has been received from Walton Street Capital LLC. That will help pay the dues to the contractor and subcontractor that are currently working on the North Shore project.

Oltmanns said that the company and the local officials are still hopeful that they can meet the May 2009 for the opening of the Majestic Star casino despite the two weeks stoppage on the construction of the casino due to the contractor problem. Mayor Luke Ravenhstahl commented that he had spoken to Don Barden and Barden assured him that they are still on track to finish the casino by May 2009.

Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County Chief Executive said that he also believe that the casino can be finished on May 2009 despite the problems. Oltmanns commented that aside from that, Walton Street Capital is a real estate private equity organization that is also one of the investors in the planned SugarHouse casino facility on the waterfront area of Philadelphia. The head of Walton Street is Neil Bluhm, who is a principal of Urban Retail Properties when the company was a part of a Fifth and Forbes redevelopment plan under former Mayor Tom Murphy.

Walton Street's monetary investment replaces the bridge loan worth $150 million from Apollo Global Management that was never approved. He added that PITG Gaming, the holding organization for Don Barden's Pittsburgh casino facility failed to finalize an agreement with Apollo.

Oltmanns commented that Barden recently met with the head of Keating Building Corporation, Dan Keating, the main contractor for the casino to discuss the problem and that Keating also met with twenty to twenty-five subcontractors.


20 July 2008
News Submitted by:
Lauren Desmond

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