Thursday, March 30, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Business owners near the intersection of Russell Road and Polaris Avenue are anticipating how the landscape will change when the Raiders construct a domed 65,000-seat stadium in time for the 2020 season.
The Raiders have yet to purchase the barren 62 acres, currently owned by Nevada Land Group LLC. But John Knott, executive vice president of the CRBE commercial real estate firm, which represents Nevada Land Group, confirmed the team has an option in place to buy the land.
Knott declined to explain the stipulations of the potential deal, citing confidentiality, but the Raiders also confirmed to the Las Vegas Sun that the Russell Road site is their target.
Brad Meyers, regional director for EJM Development Co., which owns land zoned for a hotel-casino directly across from the proposed stadium site, said inquiries about the parcel have increased with the Raiders speculation.
“It’s been building over the last year, but I don’t even know how many calls we’ve taken on it since just (Monday, when the NFL approved the Raiders’ move), but it’s definitely picked up,” Meyers said.
No specific plans were revealed to Meyers, but he said the interest is there.
EJM Development also owns several buildings and another plot of land close to the site. If the Russell Road site is officially chosen, the price of the vacant lot and the other buildings in the vicinity are set to rise.
Myers said that EJM Development has a long history in the area. The company even owned the Russell Road site (through Weststate Land Partners) at one point and was instrumental in the infrastructure development in the vicinity, he said.
"We were the developers that actually put in that intersection (Russell Road and Polaris Avenue) in a joint public-private partnership with the state, which essentially created that Raiders site,” he said. “We sold off everything except that little piece of land.”
Meyers said EJM Development owned a large section of land, including property on which the Convention Center at Mandalay Bay was built and the southwest corner of Polaris Avenue and Russell Road where a group of hotels is located.
Meyers said the group to which EJM sold the Russell Road site had plans for a hotel-casino, but the economic downturn curbed those plans.
Meyers said the Raiders have not approached him about EJM’s land or buildings, but he would listen to any offers. “It’s hard to speak on that now, but I’m sure we would be listening to just about anything,” he said.
With the area surrounding the stadium now largely industrial, Meyers said he could see that character changing to capitalize on the droves of fans who will be looking for something to do before filling the seats.
“I could see a lot of things going on around the stadium just because the draw that will be there and highest and best use for the property around there,” he said. “It may not be industrial anymore.”
If everything goes as planned and the stadium is built on the land, Meyers said it would be a little more special to them than the average resident.
“There would be a little sense of pride, that we developed that intersection and we pretty much created that corner here,” Meyers said. “Back when we did it there, it was the end of the Strip, there really wasn’t anything there. The owners took a big risk, and it paid off really well.”
One business a few hundred feet from the intersection of Russell Road and Polaris Avenue is gentleman's club Crazy Horse lll.
Crazy Horse lll general manager Keith Ragano said the business is excited about the possibility of the Raiders becoming their neighbor and plans to capitalize on the increased traffic in the area.
“We are right there in the shadow of the new stadium, so it will have a huge impact on us,” Ragano said. “Considering that sports fans and a gentlemen's club go hand in hand, well, for us the location couldn't be better. We expect a lot of positives from being at the site, from increased foot traffic to being a great party spot for players and fans.”
Ragano said that he’s not worried about the traffic issues affecting his club on game days. The club’s peak hours are late night, so the rush should be gone by then, he added.
When the Raiders arrive in a few years, Ragano said that the club would beef up staffing to ensure they have enough employees during days with games or special events.
Ragano said the Crazy Horse lll is willing and ready to assist with the football festivities.
“If anything, we'll have the opportunity to host tailgates and after-parties on game days,” Ragano said. “For us, it's just great for business. As much as we're a gentlemen's club, we're a party destination. We'll have some great tailgates.”