Wes Edens: Brightline High-Speed Rail Project is ”At the 1-Yard Line”

Wes Edens, the co-founder of Fortress Investment Group and owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, predicts that Brightline will break ground on its high-speed rail project in the next few months. In a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Edens said that he is “pretty confident” that construction will begin this year. Brightline is an express intercity passenger rail system that currently runs between Miami and West Palm Beach. The company recently announced that it will begin service to Orlando International Airport, with plans for lines running to Tampa, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Austin, and Chicago.

 

Edens said that the first phase of construction would connect Orlando to West Palm Beach, with an estimated cost of $3-billion. He said that the company’s goal was to “have service up and running by 2020.” Currently, Brightline is in the process of acquiring land for its second phase which will run from West Palm Beach to Orlando.

 

Edens also mentioned that he had recently made another large investment in Las Vegas, which was not disclosed. The last time he made large investments in the city was his successful purchase of the distressed loans on several major casino projects that became part of what eventually became Fortress Investment Group.

 

The fortress is also rumored to be one of the parties interested in purchasing the Oakland Raiders football team. There had been press that Edens was interested in putting up a bid for the team. However, that has been refuted by Fortress Investment Group which released a statement saying that it had no interest in buying the Raiders.

 

Edens’ passion for sports is well known, as evidenced by his purchase of the Bucks and his recent large investment in Las Vegas. He also has a well-documented passion for playing and watching tennis.