LVCVA to consider 10-acre, $125M Strip land sale on Tuesday

By Richard N. Velotta and Eli Segall | Originally published in Las Vegas Review-Journal | March 9, 2023

A 10-acre parcel owned by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) on the southeast corner of Las Vegas and Elvis Presley boulevards in Las Vegas Tuesday, March 7, 2023. The LVCVA plans to sell the land. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

After the high-priced sale of a north Strip lot fell through, two developers are set to buy it for an even bigger amount.

Las Vegas developer Brett Torino and New York’s Paul Kanavos, who built retail projects on the Strip together, have teamed up to buy a 10-acre parcel just south of Fontainebleau Las Vegas for $125 million from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The LVCVA board is scheduled to consider the sale Tuesday. The property, at the southeast corner of Las Vegas and Elvis Presley boulevards, occupies part of the footprint where the Riviera stood.

Proceeds from the sale would help finance a $600 million Las Vegas Convention Center renovation project scheduled to start in April.

The buyers declined to comment Thursday.

The LVCVA voted in fall 2021 to initially sell the 10-acre plot to Chilean developer Claudio Fischer for $120 million. But the sale failed to close last year, and the LVCVA kept a $7 million nonrefundable deposit and put the parcel back up for sale.

The latest sales attempt would put the property in the hands of developers with a track record of building projects on the Strip. It would also mark another lucrative real estate sale in Las Vegas’ famed casino corridor, which has had a surge of property transactions over the past few years and rising land prices.

Torino, owner of Torino Companies, and Kanavos, chairman and CEO of Flag Luxury Group, teamed up 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.

The new project 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.

Terms of the deal

As part of the land sale, the 14-member LVCVA board is slated to consider spending $2 million on closing costs and other contractual requirements.

The clock on a 90-day due diligence period begins upon approval of the deal. If the purchase and sale agreement gets the green light, the buyers have five days to make a $3 million initial deposit. By the end of the due diligence period, an additional $2 million will be required from the buyers.

The sale must be completed by Sept. 11, according to the tourism agency’s meeting agenda.

As part of the agreement, the LVCVA carved out two time frames to license the parcel for $1: in late October and early November for the Specialty Equipment Market Association automotive trade show and in December and January for the tech megashow CES 2024.

Similar to its agreement with Fischer, Torino and Kanavos will be required to begin construction within 10 years, meaning the latest construction could begin is 2033.

Should the new buyers decide to sell the property, the LVCVA would have the first crack at buying it back.

Stretch of the Strip

A decade or so ago, after Las Vegas’ once-supercharged real estate market imploded, the north Strip featured halted megaresort projects, big land tracts where massive developments never materialized and minimal foot traffic.

The area still gets less foot traffic than other parts of the Strip, and there are still big parcels of land with an uncertain future. But the north Strip has gained momentum.

The 67-story Fontainebleau, reacquired two years ago by original developer Jeffrey Soffer, is under construction and scheduled to open in the fourth quarter this year.

Resorts World Las Vegas, a $4.3 billion project with 3,500 rooms, debuted in June 2021 to a crowd of at least 20,000 people on its opening night. The Las Vegas Convention Center’s new $1 billion West Hall opened the same month.

The LVCVA bought the Riviera hotel-casino in 2015 for $182.5 million, acquiring the 26-acre site for Convention Center expansion space. It imploded the resort.

Authority officials have talked about selling the corner plot — now eyed by Torino and Kanavos — since at least February 2019, when President and CEO Steve Hill told a breakfast meeting of NAIOP, a commercial real estate association, members that the agency would look to sell about 10 acres of the former Riviera site.

At the time, Hill did not offer an estimate on how much the parcel could be worth, though he thought it would fetch top dollar.

“It may be the most valuable piece of property that a government agency has ever sold,” Hill told the Review-Journal.

In March 2019, the LVCVA hired brokerage firm CBRE Group to sell the property. No asking price was given.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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Join us, alongside Save Red Rock and our community friends, as we come together to remove litter from Lovell Canyon on Saturday, April 20, from 10 am to 2 pm. (Please ensure your arrival by noon, and feel free to depart whenever convenient).

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Earth Day is an annual event on April 22nd, dedicated to demonstrating support for environmental protection. First established in 1970, it now engages over 1 billion people in more than 193 countries, coordinated globally by Earthday.org. The official theme for 2024 is "Planet vs. Plastics."
 
At the heart of the Brett Torino Foundation lies the commitment to conserve precious lands like Lovell Canyon, nestled in the Spring Valley Mountain range just West of Las Vegas, NV. Through initiatives like the "Save Lovell Canyon" project launched in 2017, the canyon has become a haven for campers, hikers, bicyclists, and nature enthusiasts.
 
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Abby is the epitome of resilience and talent. 🎭 She recently received the prestigious BTF Scholarship through her dedication and hard work with Nevada Childhood Cancer. 🎗️ But that's just the beginning of her incredible journey!
 
Abby's love for the performing arts knows no bounds, and her performances are truly enchanting. 🎶 Her infectious smile and genuine warmth illuminate every room she enters. 💖
 
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A February Moment with the Founder
🌟 Exciting News! 🌟
Join us at Camp Cartwheel, a magical summer camp experience for children battling cancer! 🎗️ Happening June 19-22 at Torino Ranch, this is a chance for these brave kids to laugh, play, and create unforgettable memories.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN! 📝 For children and volunteers - Deadline for applications is March 22nd.

Together with Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation (@nvccf), we're committed to bringing joy and hope. Let's make this summer one to remember! ☀️ Apply now at the NVCCF website. #CampCartwheel #ChildhoodCancerAwareness #SummerCamp2024 🏕️
🌟 We're thrilled to welcome Jessica "Jess" Anderson to the @nvccf team leading the Brett Torino Foundation Educational Services program. With a heart full of passion and dedication, she joins us ready to make a difference in the lives of our incredible children.  Jess has been a CCSD department head and teacher for five years and was recently honored as Teacher of the Year at her school. She has also volunteered at Camp Cartwheel for 12 years hosted at Torino Ranch. Let's give Jessica a warm welcome as we embark on this journey of success in education for our little superheroes! Together, we'll continue spreading hope, joy, and knowledge.🎗️ #Welcome #NewBeginnings #MakingADifference
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Q: How do bees make honey? 🐝
A: Honey starts as flower nectar collected by bees, which gets broken down into simple sugars stored inside the honeycomb.
A December Moment with the Founder
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