Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Arizona Developer Buys Ivana Condo Site!

Once again the land on the northeast corner at Sahara and Las Vegas Boulevard has changed hands, this time being purchased by Steven Johnson, longtime real-estate developer, who, for the past several decades, has quietly negotiated land deals in Arizona and around the Southwest. Most recently, Johnson bought the three adjacent parcels at the northeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue according to Clark County land records.

Previously the site of the Holy Cow Casino, this two acre parcel was most recently proposed to be the tallest condo tower in Las Vegas, according to would-be Australian developer Victor Altomare. Launched with the motto "In Vegas, Size Matters," The Ivana Supertower was intended to be an 80 story building soaring above the Las Vegas Strip at 923 feet. Much was made of the competition between Ivana Trump, after whom the building was named, and ex-hubby Donald for sales of their respective Las Vegas condos properties. But after numerous launch parties and lots of hoopla, eventually Altomare quietly folded up shop and headed back to Australia.

The current sale shows Johnson paid $45 million for the two acre Holy Cow/Ivana parcel. Johnson says that he is at least a month from finalizing plans for the site, which is across from a multibillion-dollar resort that MGM Mirage Inc., Kerzner International Holdings Ltd. and Dubai World are planning. Since the site is entitled for a casino, there is speculation that there will be some sort of gaming on the property. But much of the property Johnson has purchased in Las Vegas has been turned into Walgreens drugstores, including one on the Las Vegas Strip near the MGM Grand hotel-casino and another at the corner of Charleston and Las Vegas boulevards.

Whatever he builds there, Johnson's intention is that by the end of 2009 his project will be 75% complete. Evidently Johnson, who has been extremely successful in all his past real estate ventures, feels that Las Vegas real estate is still a good investment, even with a $45 million dollar price tag! That's why it's also a good time to look into Las Vegas homes for sale. Buy when the "big guys" are buying too.

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