Developers looking to expand to the north Strip

By Eli Segall | Originally published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal | March 11, 2023

Developers Brett Torino and Paul Kanavos have teamed up to build retail projects in the heart of the Strip, bringing shopping and dining outposts to a section jammed with tourists.

Now they’re looking to expand to the northern edge of Las Vegas’ famed casino corridor — a quieter area that’s been seeing more action.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is scheduled Tuesday to consider selling a 10-acre plot to the developers for $125 million. Located at the southeast corner of Las Vegas and Elvis Presley boulevards, the site occupies part of the footprint where the Riviera stood.

The tourism agency’s meeting agenda doesn’t say what the buyers plan to do with the parcel, and the developers declined to comment to the Review-Journal this week.

But the sale could usher in a new project to the north Strip and show that despite the steep price of $12.5 million per acre, land values can soar even higher in busier sections of Las Vegas Boulevard.

Pricey property

Torino, owner of Torino Companies, and Kanavos, chairman and CEO of Flag Luxury Group, partnered more than a decade ago to develop a three-story retail complex at the northeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue.

The project, called Harmon Corner, features tenants such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Sugar Factory.

More recently, they built a four-story retail project called 63 at the southwest corner of the same intersection, next to luxury mall The Shops at Crystals at the multi-tower CityCenter complex.

It is slated to feature such tenants as Ocean Prime, whose operators said they’d invest nearly $20 million in the seafood and steakhouse restaurant set to open this spring.

The new retail complex sits on a 2-acre parcel the developers acquired in 2021 for around $80 million — a valuation of $40 million an acre that surpassed land prices on the Strip during the mid-2000s bubble.

Also, Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta last year purchased roughly 6 acres at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon for $270 million — more than $43 million per acre. He’s already demolished some buildings and received county approval for a 43-story luxury hotel-casino.

Picking up the pace

A decade or so ago, after Las Vegas’ frenzied real estate market crashed, the north Strip was saddled with halted megaresort projects, huge tracts of land where massive developments never materialized, and minimal foot traffic.

The north Strip still isn’t crammed with tourists walking around and still has big tracts of land with an unknown future. But the area has gained momentum.

The corner plot being sold by the LVCVA is just south of Fontainebleau Las Vegas, a long-planned skyscraper that was reacquired two years ago by original developer Jeffrey Soffer.

The 67-story hotel-casino — which broke ground in 2007 and boasts a tumultuous history that spans different owners and years of inactivity — is under construction and scheduled to open in the fourth quarter.

LVCVA’s land is also adjacent to property acquired last year by The Siegel Group, which now owns more than 12 acres of contiguous real estate on and near the north Strip.

Michael Crandall, Siegel’s chief business officer, recently told me the firm has “received tons of calls on our land,” including from prospective buyers. But the company is “fully committed to developing” the site, has a concept for it, and wants to make sure it appeals to locals and visitors.

“We have no timeline at this point as we are still in the early stages,” Crandall noted.

The plot eyed by Torino and Kanavos is also near Resorts World Las Vegas, the $4.3 billion hotel-casino that opened in 2021, and the Las Vegas Convention Center’s $1 billion West Hall that debuted the same month.

Moreover, Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics have been looking at some sites in America’s casino capital for a potential new ballpark, including festival grounds at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.

For now, the north Strip is a long way from resembling the stretch of the corridor where Torino and Kanavos built before. But these developers are now looking to bet on an area that, in the not-too-distant past, felt light years away from other parts of the street.

Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

Stay informed! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

A September Moment with the Founder
In honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we are immensely proud of our longstanding partnership of over two decades with @nvccf. Together, we have diligently championed the cause of raising awareness about this illness and have been dedicated to advancing services provided to the children and their families. Over the years, our collaborative efforts have resulted in the development of educational services for children undergoing treatments and the establishment of a refuge through the summer camps at Torino Ranch, where cherished memories are created, offering a respite from the challenges faced by these young fighters. @kariofmanycolors @celenahaas1
School starts on Aug. 7 and the @bretttorinofoundation Education Services of @nvccf is there every step of the way. This program gives diagnosed children the opportunity to continue their education while in treatment, recovery, and post treatment with Brett Torino Foundation Learning Pod at @nvccf, Brett Torino Foundation “Heart of Education” Scholarship, School Re-Entry Team, Advocacy, Back to School in Style, C.A.P.S. PROGRAM, and more.

Please call Mrs. K at NVCCF at 702.735.8434 or email her at for more information and education support. This program is available to critically ill children (K-12) diagnosed with life threatening illnesses including cancer, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell, renal, blood, and immunologic diseases, their siblings, as well as to children whose parents are diagnosed with cancer and registered with The Caring Place Program.
🎉 Congratulations to @nvccf Jeff, Stephanie, and the entire team! What a remarkable honor, and we couldn't be more proud to collaborate with you on Camp Cartwheel and the BTF educational services and programs throughout the year. Your dedication to the children and the Las Vegas Community is truly commendable. Thank you, NVCCF, for making a positive impact on so many lives! 🙌🏼 #givingback
A round of applause for another captivating camp experience with @sunshinenevadaorg! Immerse yourself in the world of camp I AM and TLC through this informative video, capturing the essence of camp life. While camp may be seen as a typical experience for some children, for those living with autism, it is an extraordinary and transformative journey. From engaging activities to forming meaningful connections with others and nature, both the campers and volunteers have created countless cherished memories. Stay connected with us throughout the year for captivating camp images on our social media, pages and website.
ICYMI: Proud to partner with @saveredrock and other local groups @centennial_subaru @republic_services and more for Lovell Canyon clean up with nearly 100 volunteers. We are committed to the continuous preservation and beauty of our nature lands.
Thrilled to host @Sunshinenevadaorg summer camp at Torino Ranch helping those living with autism, we have waited more than 3 years to see all these smiling faces of the children. Can’t wait to host you all again next year! #givingback
It takes a village to support children with critical illnesses, to wrap services around them, and ensure that they and their families feel deeply supported. Summer camp fun not only brings joy but also instills strength and courage within them, empowering them to face medical challenges throughout the year. Together, we form a close-knit family, united in our dedication to their well-being. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ @nvccf @8newsnow @8newsnowkirsten @kirsten.joyce
Last week, Brett Torino Foundation and @nvccf Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation held the 27th annual Camp Cartwheel Summer Camp at Torino Ranch for critically ill children diagnosed with cancer, or other life-threatening illnesses. Over the decades many thousands of children have experienced the ranch since 1999, the foundation is committed to those we serve.
It’s beginning to look a lot like 🎄at the ranch. 
#happyholidays #glitteringlights #night #winter #wonderland #holidaylights
Have you visited Lovell Canyon? 🏔

Our team has worked for years with a specialized task force to make this area safe and environmentally healthy. We’re incredibly proud of the clean up and preservation work we’ve achieved. 

Come see this natural wonder!
Hoping your plates and hearts are bountiful today. Happy Thanksgiving 🍁
Now is the time of year for gratitude. What are you grateful for? 
Be kind to one another, the environment, and all living creatures. 🙏