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Board approves spending $6.5M to prepare former Riviera site for development

Updated November 14, 2023 - 4:23 pm

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $6.5 million to prepare a 10-acre site where the Riviera once stood for a $125 million sale.

The board also approved the amended sale plan with 65SLVB, a partnership of Brett Torino of Las Vegas and New York’s Paul Kanavos, for the land just south of Fontainebleau.

The land originally was to be sold to Chilean developer Claudio Fischer for $120 million, but the sale failed to close in 2022. The LVCVA kept a $7 million nonrefundable deposit and put the parcel back up for sale. As Fischer prepared to close the deal, it was determined that the site needed excavation and fill to prepare for future development.

That’s when Torino and Kanavos stepped up to buy the land, and in March the transaction was approved by the board.

On Tuesday, the board approved the $6.5 million contract with Las Vegas Paving for the excavation-and-fill project as well as the amended purchase agreement with 65SLVB.

The new owners will have until 2033 to develop the land.

Torino and Kanavos haven’t said what they plan to build on the site, but they have a solid development track record.

Torino and Kanavos, chairman and CEO of Flag Luxury Group, teamed up more than a decade ago to develop a three-story retail complex at the northeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue.

The project, called Harmon Corner, features tenants such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Sugar Factory.

More recently, they built a four-story retail project called 63 at the southwest corner of the same intersection, next to luxury mall The Shops at Crystals at the multitower CityCenter complex.

“We believe this prime location has numerous possibilities, and there has been significant interest from other parties that would like to discuss our development plans,” Torino said at the time of the transaction. “Further announcements will be made at a later date.”

In other business Tuesday, the LVCVA board unanimously agreed to a four-year contract extension for $12.1 million with Miller Project Management for owner representative services for the ongoing Las Vegas Convention Center renovation project.

The $600 million renovation project began earlier this year and will continue through 2026, starting with construction of new LVCVA corporate offices and a new board room for meetings in the Convention Center’s South Hall.

The board also agreed to spend $545,000 to sponsor the United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships in April through June 2025. The event, at the South Point Championship Bowling Plaza and other local bowling centers, is expected to bring 16,000 bowlers to Las Vegas to compete. The championships also are scheduled to be in Las Vegas in 2026, 2029, 2032, 2035, and 2038 and are expected to have a $32.7 million economic impact on the city each year.

Additionally, board members paid tribute to Don Laughlin, a real estate developer and resort owner who created the town of Laughlin, who died at the age of 92 on Oct. 15. A video highlighting Laughlin’s life was presented.

They also recognized Vice Chairman Anton Nicodemus, president and chief operating officer of CityCenter, the Aria and Vdara, who was attending his last meeting as a board member.

Nicodemus has taken a job as CEO of Seaport Entertainment, an affiliate of Howard Hughes Corp., which plans to build a casino resort at the Fashion Show mall.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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