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KANSAS CITY, MO-NSL Holdings Inc. of Vancouver, BC, is planning a $3.5-billion two-phase development on 1,000 acres near here that it says includes the world’s tallest building (2,460 feet, 115 stories); the world’s largest enclosed mall (four levels, 17.5 million sf); the world’s largest greenhouse garden; the world’s largest planetarium, and; 400 acres of indoor and outdoor theme parks. The project is laid out in a 52-page concept plan. GlobeSt.com has obtained the plan and confirmed the facts of this story with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, though sources there have expressed skepticism about the liklihood of the project going forward. NSL stands for Neal S. Lachman, the 33-year-old Dutch entrepreneur behind the grand idea. Twice bankrupt, Lachman says he has a history in finance and the telecom industry but no development experience. “We just think that as a new investment firm, we have to do something to stand out,” Lachman tells GlobeSt.com. “What would be just another strip mall?”To those skeptical of the project and his ability to make it happen, Lachman says, “I don’t care; they will wait and see. I won’t sleep one day less or more if somebody believes this or not. We have an LOI (with the EDC), we are purchasing property, we are involving architects and designers, we have done months of research and invested thousands of man hours. “The only thing that could stop this is that the financing won’t go through. To minimize that risk we have chosen an untraditional approach, to finance it through a hedge fund of prviate investors. I know already that we will get no less than $250 million worth of investment as soon as we open the subscription on this property, and will probably sell most all of the shares. We will be successful.”The choice for developing the Grand Americana Resort Estate in the Kansas City area was made after an RFP was sent out in October 2003 to hundreds of city councils and economic development corporations and organizations. Earlier this month, NSL executed an LOI with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City. The LOI describes NSL’s plans to build, develop and operate the Grand Americana Resort Estate Project and the ECD’s and city’s abilities to facilitate, support, and guide NSL in all its efforts to realize the project, which includes as yet undisclosed tax abatements and financial incentives.Lachman wouldn’t get specific on where the project might be built, but he did tell GlobeSt.com he has put in an offer for land in Clay County, which is located immediately northeast Kansas City. As proposed in the concept plan, the Grand Americana Resort Estate would be developed by Grand Americana Kansas City Inc. The company would have two major shareholders: NSL Holdings Inc. (55%) and Grand Americana Malls & Resorts Corporation (45%), a company formed for the sole purpose of providing capital for the project. Lachman says the 21st Century Group of Funds–another of his companies, originally formed to fund telecom start ups–will attempt to raise the $3.5 billion by placing a minimum of 500 investment-units of the non-incorporated hedge fund Grand Americana I at $7 million per unit to qualified purchasers, each representing a 0.2% ownership of Grand Americana Malls & Resorts Corporation. Subscription to shares/partnerships of GAKC Inc. for those interested in purchasing a partnership unit is planned to be available from Sept. 1, 2004 onward. According to the plan, the world’s largest building would have only 115 floors because 50 floors would be twice as tall as typical floors in order to house the world’s most luxurious hotel, with an average daily room rate of $12,500. The building would have two public observation decks accessed via elevators attached to the outside of the structure. The building would sit on a multi-story podium that would house a 2.5-million-sf convention center as well as the aforementioned mall complex, which would include a shopping mall, an auto mall and a furniture mall. The greenhouse, called “Mother Earth”, would consist of seven gigantic domes on more than 100 acres. Lachman says he chose the Kansas City area because “it’s smack in middle of the world’s largest consumer market.” Approximately three million residents live within a 100-mile-radius of Kansas City, which gets more than 220 days of sunshine annually. Including the 20 million visitors already attracted annually by Kansas City, NSL estimates Grand Americana Resort Estate will see a minimum of 60 million visits annually, instantly making it the most visited tourist/shopping destination in the USA. The development will generate an economic impact of more than $3 billion and eventually employ some 25,000 people, according to the plan.NSL estimates that visits to the resort will ramp up to 100 million annually after completion of the theme parks in phase two of the development. Given that, NSL estimates the investment capital would be recouped in just 48 to 54 months with a ROI of 20% annually afterwards. An oversimplified cash flow table in the concept plan shows profit before tax of $1 billion annually, accumulated to $4 billion at the end of the sixth year. NSL says the goal is for Grand Americana Kansas City Inc. to pay back all partners before end of year six. During the first 10 years after achieving full payback, GAKC would pay dividends/share profits at the rate of 60% of the total net profits to the owners of Grand Americana Malls & Resorts Corporation and 15% to NSL Holdings, with 25% to be used for reserves, additional investments, maintenance, etc. After that, NSL and GAMARC owners would receive 37.5% each.

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