July 14, 2024 1:21 PM
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LVCVA Land Sale Amended

By Ray Smith, Exhibit City News

The developer of Fontainebleau hotel and Turnberry Place luxury condos in Las Vegas is looking to purchase a 5-acre parcel strategically located near the West Hall of Las Vegas Convention Center.

At its June 11 regular meeting, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors approved splitting a 10-acre parcel that was part of 26 acres acquired for $182.5 million when the Riviera closed in 2015. The land, on the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Elvis Presley Boulevard, has been on the market for several years, undergoing soil testing, grading and other preparations for sale.

The board voted to amend a purchase agreement with a company headed by business partners Brett Torino and Paul Kanavos. The land will be divided into a front 5-acre parcel for sale to their group for $12.5 million, and a rear 5-acre parcel for sale to a company led by the Soffer family of Florida for $112.5 million.

Don Soffer came to Las Vegas in 1997 and ignited the high-rise condo craze with the development of Turnberry Place, drawing affluent buyers including those from his previous developments in Miami Beach. His son, Jeffrey, started development of Fontainebleau, but the project went bankrupt and was snapped up in 2010 by activist investor Carl Icahn, who held it until the market recovered.

LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill will sign any new documents associated with the amended land sale agreement. The authority may spend up to $2 million for license fees, closing costs and other contractual items.

The Riviera acquisition and ensuing land deals gave the convention authority 56 acres to plan its $1 billion West Hall expansion. It also allowed for a better location of the West Hall and freed up the 10-acre parcel to be sold for “higher and better use.”

The board approved the sale of the land to Torino and Kanavos in March 2023 for $125 million. In November, Las Vegas Paving was awarded a $6.5 million contract for excavation, compaction and other site improvements addressing issues that prevented development of the property. In April, the board padded the contract with Las Vegas Paving by $1.75 million and increased the purchase agreement closing costs by $1.25 million to compensate for the site improvements.

No plans have been announced regarding the property’s development. Turnberry Associates also developed Town Square shopping and dining center on South Las Vegas Boulevard and Turnberry Towers, a lower-priced neighbor of Turnberry Place.

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