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Siegel has big plans for recently-acquired Strip land

Updated April 11, 2022 - 10:30 am

Las Vegas real estate investor Steve Siegel is perhaps best known for his portfolio of low-priced apartment complexes bearing his name.

But he has also acquired hotels and other buildings near the Strip, and now he is the casino corridor’s newest landowner.

Siegel, founder of The Siegel Group, purchased roughly 10 acres of real estate on and near the north Strip for $75 million. The sale closed this week, property records show.

The buyer now has more than 12 acres of contiguous property along Las Vegas Boulevard and Convention Center Drive, Clark County records show, and says he is eyeing a project that could include a hotel-casino, condo units and retail.

“We’re planning a trip to Dubai to get some ideas,” Siegel told me.

Long bogged down by unfinished megaresorts, huge tracts of vacant land and little foot traffic, the north Strip is now seeing its most momentum in years. New projects have debuted, the bubble-era Fontainebleau skyscraper is on a path to finally opening, and developers have acquired property.

And while Siegel paid a mountain of cash for his new properties, it was a steep discount from years past.

One of the parcels, a 5-acre plot next to the Peppermill restaurant, sold for $180 million alone in fall 2007, not long before Las Vegas’ frenzied real estate market crashed.

Siegel controls plenty of real estate around the valley, especially through his company’s Siegel Suites chain of apartments, where rental rates start at $189 per week, according to its website.

“Not sure how long you’re staying? We’re flexible. We offer apartments with no long-term lease required and bad credit ok,” the website declares.

His other holdings include commercial property just west of the Strip behind Resorts World Las Vegas, and the long-shuttered former Atrium hotel just east of the Strip next to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

He also previously owned the former Rumor hotel just east of the Strip, which he sold in 2017, and the Artisan hotel just west of the Strip, which he sold last month.

However, the new purchase gives Siegel his first property on the Strip itself, he confirmed, and could lead to his first ground-up casino development.

“It’s very hard to find land like this on the Strip,” he said, adding that when properties do come up for sale, the asking prices “are so crazy it just doesn’t even make sense.”

Siegel isn’t going to build a project there anytime soon, noting he is under no timeline or pressure to get something going. It also remains to be seen what will happen with some other sites along the north Strip,

Wynn Resorts, which acquired 38 acres next to Fashion Show mall more than four years ago, still hasn’t announced plans for the site. Also, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority this past fall approved selling 10 acres to a Chilean developer for $120 million, though under the terms of the deal, the buyer must start construction by Jan. 1, 2031 — almost nine years from now — or the tourism agency can buy back the land.

But last year saw two big openings on the north Strip, the $4.3 billion Resorts World and the Las Vegas Convention Center’s $1 billion West Hall.

Moreover, Fontainebleau Las Vegas owner Jeffrey Soffer, the project’s original developer from the mid-2000s, reacquired the still-unfinished tower last year, resumed construction and plans to open the 67-story hotel-casino in late 2023.

Will the north Strip ever get the foot traffic and buzz of activity seen in other sections of Las Vegas’ famed resort corridor? Who knows?

But Siegel is the latest investor to bet big on an area that, not very long ago, had almost no wind at its back.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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