By Eli Segall | Originally published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal | Aug. 20th, 2021
Clark County commissioners approved plans this week for a four-story retail project at CityCenter, clearing a hurdle for a local developer to put up more shopping space on the Strip.
County leaders on Wednesday gave the green light for developer Brett Torino’s plan to build a retail complex at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue, next to luxury mall Shops at Crystals.
According to county documents, the project is expected to span 228,278 square feet, feature 21 leasable spaces, and include outdoor dining and drinking areas on the fourth floor.
The casino-choked Strip is already crammed with places to shop and eat, though Torino told the Review-Journal this week that his property is in a pedestrian-filled corridor and that more than half of the project is leased.
He aims to start vertical construction within 60 days and to open the complex — which, at least for now, is called Project63 — by October 2022.
Torino and project partner Flag Luxury Group, a New York developer, teamed up to acquire the 2-acre site for around $80 million. As measured by price per acre, the sky-high valuation exceeded land deals on Las Vegas Boulevard even during the frenzied mid-2000s real estate bubble.
Their parcel was home to the never-finished Harmon hotel, a structurally flawed project that sparked massive litigation and was ultimately dismantled several years ago.
The sale to Torino’s group — by casino giant MGM Resorts International and its partner in the sprawling CityCenter project, government-owned holding company Dubai World – was announced in April and closed in June.
Torino’s new site is across the intersection from Harmon Corner, a three-story retail complex that he and Flag Luxury developed about a decade ago.