Friday, Jan. 30, 2004 | 11:16 a.m.
In a joint-venture deal, Turnberry Associates and Centra Properties LLC have purchased the closed Vacation Village hotel-casino on Las Vegas Boulevard and plan to develop a retail center and possibly other projects on the site.
Centra Properties, a local developer of office and industrial parks, and Florida-based Turnberry Associates paid $25.5 million for Vacation Village, which sits on 24.9 acres of land on South Las Vegas Boulevard. The seller, VVLV LLCC, owned by investor Shawn Scott, could not be reached for comment.
Turnberry officials confirmed the deal but could not be reached for further comment.
The deal was closed Friday, said Kenny Sullivan, a principal with Centra Properties. James Stuart also is a principal with Centra Properties.
Vacation Village, south of Sunset Road on Las Vegas Boulevard South, was shuttered about two years, beginning shortly after Scott was named the high bidder in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Scott, through his company Capital One LLC, paid $17.8 million for the property with promises to expand the resort. Those initial plans never materialized.
The property has been mired in lawsuits about a variety of issues, including disputes over building-height restrictions because of nearby McCarran Airport.
Centra Properties officials said they are confident that all issues regarding the lawsuits can be resolved in the near future.
Centra Properties has been eyeing the site, bordered by Interstate 15, Interstate 215, Sunset and Las Vegas Boulevard, for sometime.
Centra already owned 57 acres of land that are master-planned as an industrial park, named Centra Park. The company also is in negotiations with Clark County to purchase 14 acres in the middle of the site, which was an old interstate offramp, for $5 million from Clark County.
Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Lee Thomson said there are several conditions on the sale of the county property before it is completed.
The conditions include the purchase of Vacation Village and the creation of a plan that Centra and Turnberry feel will be a viable project while at the same time being acceptable to the airport, he said.
"(Centra and Turnberry) have been cooperative and they are working with the airport," Thomson said. "They've (also) been working with the FAA to make sure (the development) is not a hazard."
Sullivan said the height restrictions will vary from 35 feet to 100 feet. He said industrial uses are no longer planned for the land.
"An industrial project is no longer the highest and best use for that property," he said. "We want to create a spectacular entrance to our city."
The site is zoned for a hotel casino or other commercial use, such as retail.
Sullivan said it is too early to say if a new hotel-casino will be built on the site.
"We are keeping our options open," he said.
Centra Properties and Turnberry plan at least 1 million square feet of retail space on the site. Design and plans for the site are still a work in progress, Sullivan said.
He said no tenants have signed leases.
Developers began paying more attention to South Las Vegas Boulevard as different projects have been announced, such as the Tahiti Village timeshares and some condominium projects, some of which are in the planning stages.
Fry's Electronics opened a year ago nearby on South Las Vegas Boulevard -- a move some questioned because of its distance from residential areas. Others called the location brilliant because of its proximity to the crossroads of I-215 and I-15.
One use that won't be found on the site is residential, Sullivan said.
Turnberry Associates is best known for condominium projects in Las Vegas (Turnberry Place and The Residences at MGM Grand) and in Florida, but it also develops office and retail properties, hotels and resorts.
"There will be no condos on the site," Sullivan said. "There may be some transient housing, hotel rooms, but no residential on the site; that is our agreement with the airport."
There is not a timeline for development of the property, but the existing Vacation Village buildings will probably be razed by the end of the year, he said.
"We're thrilled," Sullivan said. "We plan to create the most exciting retail project in Las Vegas."