By Larry Henry | Originally published in casino.org | May 2, 2021
A Las Vegas developer who entered an agreement to buy two acres of land on the Las Vegas Strip plans to add restaurants and retail shops at the location. This adds another project proposed for the resort corridor.
Brett Torino and executives at New York City-based Flag Luxury Group are buying two acres at CityCenter for about $80 million from MGM Resorts International, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The plan is to build a complex with retail and restaurants at the site.
The small parcel is near the The Shops at Crystals mall at the southwest corner of the Strip and Harmon Avenue. Among the luxury shops in the mall are Dior, Cartier, and Gucci.
This location is just south of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
In 2012, Torino and Flag Luxury opened a retail project on the opposite side of the Strip, according to the newspaper. Called Hawaiian Marketplace, this development includes a Walgreens, a daiquiri bar, a tattoo shop, and more.
Pizza and Sports Betting
The new project is scheduled to be built at the former site of the Harmon hotel tower. This structurally flawed development later was dismantled, the newspaper reported.
Decades ago, before the area was known for luxury shops, the Tower of Pizza stood in this general vicinity. The Italian restaurant and bar was popular in the 1960s and ’70s among Las Vegas locals, celebrities, and underworld figures.
Former Tower of Pizza employee Scott Schettler, a longtime Las Vegas oddsmaker and author of the book We Were Wiseguys and Didn’t Know It, said customers could order food over the phone while also placing a sports bet.
Resorts World Grand Opening
The sale on the new project is expected to close by June. When construction is underway, it will become part of a revival on the Strip. Florida-based Arquitectonica is tasked with creating a design that fits CityCenter’s appearance, according to KSNV-TV.
North of this site, the 3,5000-room Resorts World Las Vegas is set to open June 24. Resorts World is on the northwest end of Strip where the now-demolished Stardust Casino once was located.
These developments are occurring as a nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations and stimulus checks have boosted tourism in the city.
The $4.3 billion Resorts World is the most expensive project ever on the Strip, eclipsing the $4.1 billion Cosmopolitan. Resorts World will be the first hotel-casino built on the Strip since the Cosmopolitan opened in late 2010. Resorts World is projected to open as a limited-smoking resort, with smoking permitted only in the gaming areas.
Also on the Strip, Las Vegas developer Jackie Robinson, a former NBA basketball player, is planning to build a non-gaming hotel and entrainment complex on 27 acres of vacant land just south of the Sahara Las Vegas. The proposal also calls for a 22,000-seat sports arena. The developers hope to attract an NBA team to Southern Nevada.