The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority may get some professional real estate help acquiring land south of the Convention Center in its bid to transform the campus into the Las Vegas Global Business District.
The authority has been picking up bits and pieces of land along Sierra Vista Drive, Swenson Street and Royal Crest Circle, most recently acquiring three parcels totaling 8.5 acres for $9.3 million on Tuesday.
The authority doesn’t have a clear picture yet how it will use the land.
For the short term, it’s being eyed for parking and for staging trucks that deliver exhibitions and products for the hundreds of trade shows that the facility hosts.
The land immediately adjacent to the Convention Center’s South Hall provides the best access to the two levels of exhibit space.
For the long term, the land could continue to be used for parking and staging, for corridors for the transportation hub that would eventually be a part of the campus or even the expansion of the South Hall.
“At this time, all of our options are open,” authority President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said.
But acquiring real estate is getting harder, especially since landowners know the authority is looking to buy.
The market has also gotten more complicated since the recession, beyond the expertise of staff legal counsel Luke Puschnig, whose strength is litigation, not real estate.
That’s why on Thursday, the authority’s board of directors, in a special meeting, unanimously approved the hiring of real estate experts to assist with complex transactions.
Because some brokers are paid based on a percentage of the amount of the transaction, any large deal could exceed the amount Ralenkotter is authorized to pay at his own discretion.
Current policy gives Ralenkotter the authority to approve contracts under $100,000 without board approval.
The action taken Thursday will enable Ralenkotter to approve fees on deals in excess of that amount and all final acquisition approvals would still be brought to the 14-member board.
A staff analysis concurred that the public would be best served by the policy change.
The policy only applies to transactions involving the $2.5 billion Global Business District project.
While the board made no disclosures about a pending deal, members read into the request that a possible transaction is imminent.
Ralenkotter said the authority didn’t have enough information early enough to place the request on Tuesday’s monthly board meeting agenda, which was why the special meeting was called.
Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at email@example.com or 702-477-3893. Follow him on Twitter @RickVelotta.