Updated November 6, 2019 - 6:36 pm
Months after announcing plans for a futuristic mini-city in Las Vegas, the developer has reached a deal to buy a project site for more than $300 million.
Bleutech Park Properties reached a purchase agreement with landowners Khusrow “K.” Roohani and Larry Canarelli for 210 acres at Las Vegas Boulevard and Cactus Avenue, project spokesman Tom Letizia announced Tuesday at a news conference at the M Resort.
Roohani, owner of Seven Valleys Realty & Construction, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal at the event that he and Canarelli, founder of American West Homes, are selling the dirt south of the Las Vegas Strip for more than $1.5 million per acre, putting the price above $315 million.
There is no guarantee the deal will close. But the announcement is a key step for a tech-heavy, $7.5 billion project that had been shrouded in mystery in some keys ways since its unveiling — and whose developer, the Review-Journal confirmed, is Janet Garcia-Legrand of Miami, who was arrested in 2017 in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud a south Florida city.
Bleutech Park Las Vegas is the most expensive and complex real estate development pitched in Southern Nevada in recent memory. Its backers have used an arsenal of buzz words to describe it, saying the project will feature net-zero buildings, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, supertrees and self-healing concrete structures.
But until now they hadn’t said where it would be built, and they did not disclose in news releases that Garcia-Legrand was behind it.
Canarelli owns about 150 acres at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Cactus, and he and Roohani teamed up recently to acquire 63 acres nearby at the northwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Starr Avenue.
Roohani said Bleutech has a “solid agreement” to acquire the land.
“We have a contract,” he said, declining to elaborate.
Roohani also said that he has discussed leasing the developers more than 100 acres south of the M, which they would use for project manufacturing.
Asked how confident he is that Garcia-Legrand’s group can close the high-priced land purchase, Roohani said, “If they don’t, they’ll be out of the deal.”
It’s a low-risk transaction for him, he agreed. The land will still be there if the sale falls through, and the buyers have a deadline.
Garcia-Legrand, CEO of Bleutech Park Properties, said in an interview at the event — held in the M’s LUX event space on the 16th floor — that she will “most likely” close the purchase before the Jan. 15 deadline, not on it.
She noted that she plans to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking Dec. 7 — the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, which pushed America into World War II.
“No pun intended, by the way,” she said of the event date.
Garcia-Legrand confirmed the purchase price that Roohani provided and said she has commitments from investors to finance the land acquisition and construction costs. She also said she is spending more and more time in Las Vegas and, with project plans moving ahead, will probably live here full-time.
Unveiled in late July, Bleutech Park is a so-called “digital infrastructure city” that would feature housing, offices, retail and entertainment, and “waste-heat recovery,” buildings with “breathable materials” and other tech-heavy features.
If built, it would pump billions of dollars into the valley and usher in a burst of smart-city technology. But the enormous project sounds all too familiar in Las Vegas, a place with a long track record of developers pitching massive, often over-the-top ideas and never following through.
Asked what she would tell critics who point this out, Garcia-Legrand said, in part, “You’ve never seen this kind of project in Vegas — period.”
In 2017, police in South Florida accused Garcia-Legrand — whose name is also given in court records as Janet Legrand and Janet Garcia — of creating an “elaborate facade” to make a company called Bleu Network appear reputable and attempting to defraud the city of Homestead in 2016.
Garcia-Legrand submitted a proposal for a downtown Homestead development, records show. According to police records, the city had said it would provide more than $33 million for the project.
During a review of the proposal, Homestead police discovered several “misrepresentations and falsehoods,” according to her arrest warrant. Among the falsehoods were Garcia-Legrand’s claims that she was a licensed civil engineer in Florida and an engineering graduate of the University of Miami, according to police.
Garcia-Legrand on Tuesday declined to talk about the criminal allegations against her, saying only that the case is pending.