Real Estate:

LVCVA’s sights set on $19M land buy for planned business district

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority wanted to spend up to $19 million for 4.8 acres of property on Convention Center Drive, including the Vegas Indoor Skydiving building, pictured Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.

Las Vegas’ tourism bureau is continuing its real estate buying spree for its planned multibillion-dollar business district.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s board of directors is scheduled to vote Sept. 9 on a plan to spend up to $19 million for 4.8 acres of property near the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The sites include Vegas Indoor Skydiving and a sprawling parking lot next door, both on Convention Center Drive just east of Las Vegas Boulevard. County records indicate that Tarsadia Investments, of Newport Beach, Calif., owns the properties.

On a recent visit the parking lot had few cars, as well as visible signs of disrepair, including surface cracks and faded parking space paint. The site is near the former Silver City Casino, which closed in 1999 but whose sign still stands near the skydiving complex.

The land would be included in the LVCVA’s Las Vegas Global Business District, a $2.5 billion, seven- to 10-year project that would add almost 1 million square feet of exhibit and meeting space, as well as a transit hub, to the Convention Center compound.

Click to enlarge photo

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority wants to spend up to $19 million for 4.8 acres of property on Convention Center Drive near the former Silver City Casino, whose sign still stands, as pictured Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.

LVCVA officials unveiled the project in February 2013, and since then, they’ve acquired 18.7 acres of property in the area for $49 million, spokeswoman Heidi Hayes said.

The most expensive single purchase, $21 million, got the authority five acres in October, Hayes said.

The deal up for approval next week would be funded with money the authority borrowed in January, as part of a $50 million bond issuance.

Asked whether the skydiving building would be torn down, Hayes said the agency has not finalized exact plans for the real estate it’s been buying. The authority is gobbling up property when opportunities arise but does not have a set goal for how much it aims to acquire, Hayes said.

The owner of Vegas Indoor Skydiving did not respond to a request for comment. A call to Tarsadia also was not returned.

During the boom years, investors laid out big development plans for the site now targeted by the LVCVA, but they instead sold the property for a huge profit.

The Related Cos. bought most, if not all, of the site in 2004 for $15 million, county records show. The New York development giant drew up plans for two 48-story glass condominium towers with commercial, recreational and open space.

Clark County commissioners approved the project, known as Icon, in 2005. However, Related scrapped its plans, citing high construction costs, and sold the site to Tarsadia in 2006 for $37 million.

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