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Siegfried and Roy property eyed for demolition, apartment complex

Updated August 16, 2022 - 7:30 pm

The late Siegfried and Roy’s sprawling property in northwest Las Vegas was chopped up over the years into subdivisions with names honoring the legendary performers.

Now, a local developer wants to turn what’s left of the entertainers’ land there into another sort of housing: an apartment complex.

The Calida Group has drawn up plans for a 334-unit rental project on 12 acres along Rainbow Boulevard off Rancho Drive, city documents show. The site currently has multiple structures including residences that belonged to the iconic entertainers, the developer confirmed to the Review-Journal.

The Las Vegas City Council is scheduled to consider Calida’s plans Wednesday.

“We feel proud that we’re essentially redeveloping a property that has so much legacy and affiliation with the broader Las Vegas market as a whole,” said Josh Nelson, Calida’s chief investment officer.

The project would comprise the latest housing development to replace a compound once owned by performers who wowed audiences on the Strip for years with magic and white tigers, becoming synonymous with Las Vegas’ over-the-top entertainment scene.

‘Sold out every night’

Nelson said on Tuesday that he has toured the property. He indicated it includes individual residences for Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn as well as a “community” house where Michael Jackson and other guests stayed.

He confirmed all of the buildings would be demolished to clear space for the new apartment complex.

They won’t be torn down anytime soon, though, as Calida is looking to start construction in the first quarter of 2024, Nelson said.

Calida, among the biggest apartment developers in Southern Nevada, confirmed it is buying the project site from the entertainers’ estate.

A contact for the property owner, listed in city records, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Siegfried and Roy arrived in Las Vegas in 1967 as a specialty act at the Tropicana. After performing at other hotels on the Strip, they made their debut at The Mirage in 1990.

Their $30 million production “sold out every night from the first night to the last,” Fischbacher once said.

The run came to a violent end in 2003 when a white tiger dragged Horn offstage during a show, crushing his windpipe, damaging an artery and leaving him on life support, the New York Times reported.

Horn died in May 2020 at age 75 of complications from COVID-19, and Fischbacher died in January 2021 at age 81 after battling pancreatic cancer.

Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered flags to half-staff after each died.

Conjure up housing

Over the years, Siegfried and Roy sold land to homebuilding companies that put up projects alongside their shrinking northwest valley spread.

D.R. Horton bought a parcel from them in 2006 for more than $6.7 million, and KB Home picked one up in 2019 for $5.25 million, the Review-Journal previously reported.

Those developers launched typical Vegas housing tracts, albeit with names in honor of the performers’ German roots, big cats and longtime venue on the Strip.

D.R.’s project, Bavaria Estates, features such streets as White Tiger Court, Tigers Lair Court and Mirage Garden Street. KB’s subdivision is called Mirage Landings.

Meanwhile, builder Richmond American Homes also received City Council approval in August 2021 for a housing tract on Siegfried and Roy’s former property.

Plans called for a 207-lot subdivision on nearly 34 acres wrapping around what’s now Calida’s site, city records show.

“This is the old Siegfried and Roy property,” land-use attorney Chris Kaempfer, representing Richmond American, told the City Council, adding he was sorry to use the word “old” because they had both died.

Calida co-founder Eric Cohen said Tuesday his group would pay homage to the entertainers with the apartment complex but hasn’t determined how yet.

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

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