Brett Torino Buys a Small Plot on the Strip for $80 Million
Las Vegas developer Brett Torino started talks to buy a site on the Las Vegas Strip a year ago. Now he has a plot in CityCenter for $80 million and plans to turn it into a retail complex.
Torino, who has worked in Las Vegas since the 1970s, acquired 2 acres in the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue, next to Shops and Crystals (a luxurious mall). MGM Resorts International and its partner in CityCenter complex, Dubai World, a government-owned holding company, sold the small plot. Torino partnered up New York developer Flag Luxury Group on the deal, which was announced on April 26 and closed on June 8.
The site was previously home to Harmon hotel tower and is located across the intersection from Harmon Corner with a three-story retail complex developed by Torino and Flag Luxury. When commenting on the investment, Torino said, “You’re seeing this recovery play out quickly in this market.” Daily life would soon return to normal and Southern Nevada would become the top tourist destination it once was.
Torino plans to build a four-level retain complex, he calls Project63, because he and Paul Kanavos, CEO and chairman of Flag Luxury, were 63 when they named it. However, he said the name could change. The project would span around 200,000 sq. ft. The developers expect to open it by September 2022.
Torino Shared His Optimism for the Strip with Review-Journal
In his interview for Review-Journal, Torino said that the 2 acres on the site are not entirely usable. However, there is the whole “underworld of the CityCenter below the property.” He said that, although the plot is expensive, it comes with a ground level in a well-developed complex with parking utilities, distribution facilities, and more.
Torino said he has known MGM President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle for 40 years, and he asked him for a plot on his site. He connected him with his partner Dubai World and the two parties started discussions. Torino said that he never thought they would sell it.
Torino is optimistic about the future of the Strip. He said that during the pandemic, although they needed help, all of their tenants stayed open. Now the worst is over, and the industry is coming back strong. Torino added that previously they made a third and a half of their usual sales, but now they are back to where they were in pre-pandemic times.