Monday, March 4, 2002 | 8:59 a.m.
An independent appraiser's assessment of two Las Vegas Boulevard parcels could seal the deal on a land swap that would give Algiers hotel owner Larry Kifer prime property at Harmon Avenue and the Strip.
Clark County in July was set to collect at least $21 million cash at auction for 2.4 acres tucked between Harmon Avenue and the Aladdin when Kifer pitched his offer at the last minute.
Two private appraisers hired by Kifer set the value of his 3.5 acres at Riviera and Las Vegas boulevards at about $21 million -- about three times more than what county assessors said it was worth.
Last week Gary Kent, an appraiser hired by the county to settle the dispute, released a report that says the land is worth about $11.2 million.
Kent's assessment can be key because Kifer wants to swap his land straight across for the county property that was to be auctioned last summer.
Kifer's swap proposal was delayed when the county appraised Kifer's property at a lower value than the Harmon property. The county assessor's office set the value of the Algiers land at about $57 a square foot and the Harmon property at $200 per square foot.
Kifer has been unable to expand the Algiers to compete with neighboring megaresorts because of a plan to re-align Riviera Boulevard that would slice his land in half.
Kent's report said when the road is realigned, the property not used by the county and kept by Kifer will be worth about $6.8 million; severance damages were listed at $4.3 million.
County officials have also argued against Kifer's appraisers' claims that his land value will skyrocket when Steve Wynn opens his new megaresort.