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Station’s newest casino would be latest big project in southwest valley

With retail projects, housing tracts and big mixed-use ventures taking shape, the southwest Las Vegas Valley is among the most popular spots in the region for construction.

Now, a long-planned development is set to take shape there as well: a Station Casinos resort.

The Clark County Commission approved plans Wednesday for Station’s hotel-casino project along Durango Drive just south of the 215 Beltway, across the freeway from Ikea.

It is slated to be built in two phases. Plans call for a total of 452 rooms spread among two hotel towers, restaurants, entertainment and roughly 93,000 square feet of casino space, according to county documents.

Station has said it aims to break ground early next year. It has not released an estimated project cost.

‘Absolute no-brainer’

The locals-focused casino operator owns big tracts of land around the valley that are basically in storage for future resort projects. However, local real estate pros have long figured the Durango site would be the first among Station’s desert parcels to get developed.

It has freeway access and visibility and an expanding population nearby. It also doesn’t sit on the outskirts of the valley like some of Station’s other land holdings.

“Go do demographics around every local casino site in Las Vegas, and you’ll see that Durango is an absolute no-brainer,” billionaire Frank Fertitta III, chairman and CEO of Station parent Red Rock Resorts, told analysts this spring.

Asked what makes this site better than its other properties for a casino project now, company spokesman Michael Britt told me in an email: “Durango is clearly the most attractive development opportunity right now by almost every imaginable demographic.”

Asked if Station has determined when and where it would build its next resort in Southern Nevada after the one on Durango, he replied: “No.”

Not the only big project in the mix

The Durango project, slated to occupy 50 acres of Station’s 71-acre land tract, would be the newest supersized project to take shape in the area.

The site is across the street from UnCommons, a 40-acre, $400 million project by developer Matter Real Estate Group. The under-construction complex calls for more than 500,000 square feet of office space, 800-plus residential units, eateries and fitness studios.

Another mixed-use venture, Evora, is being built just a few miles away along Buffalo Drive between Post Road and Patrick Lane. The 42-acre project is slated to feature 1,300-plus apartments and 240,000 square feet of commercial space, and cost upward of $500 million, developer Joe Sorge has said.

Other developments in the pipeline near Station’s property include The Bend, a 10-acre retail project; an Ashley furniture megastore that would span more than 273,000 square feet; and a new facility for luxury gym operator Life Time that, according to planning documents from early last year, would span 125,500 square feet and include indoor and outdoor pools, fitness classes, sport courts, and spa and salon services.

Station has owned its project site for some 20 years, and previous plans to build a resort there came and went.

We’ll find out soon enough whether its plans leave the drawing board this time — or whether waves of new buildings keep taking shape near a big stretch of desert off the Beltway.

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

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