The ace Vegas‘The long-held dream of launching high-speed rail service to our main tourist food country, Southern California, has taken a big step towards reality with the recent purchase of 110 acres south of the Strip.
But like countless other plots of land around the valley, the expanse of desert now owned by Florida rail operator Brightline – and drawn in pencil for a station – has already seen another great vision come and go, never leaving nothing to show.
Lone Star Funds, the former owner of the huge site along Las Vegas Boulevard at Robindale Road, obtained county approval in the spring of 2012 for a 7 million square foot project there. The plans called for hotel towers, a casino, a convention center, offices and more, according to Clark County records.
Lone Star, led by founding billionaire John Grayken, got the green light just as Las Vegas’ economy began to emerge from the rubble of the Great Recession. Construction was virtually at a standstill across the valley, and project officials told county commissioners it would not be built overnight.
Yet Lone Star is a private equity firm, not one that focuses solely on developing new projects, and it’s not uncommon in Las Vegas for landowners to get approvals without intending to build. anything. Instead, they could try to sell the land, possibly to someone who could build something.
In the end, the Lone Star land remained vacant and he sold the spread for $ 140 million to Brightline, according to real estate records.
In a press release Tuesday announcing the purchase, Brightline did not say when it expects to innovate on the station. However, he said the rail terminal will span 65,000 square feet and will have connections to “existing and planned” ground transportation systems.
It also said its Brightline West rail line from Las Vegas to Los Angeles is expected to carry more than 11 million passengers per year.
Lone Star spokesperson Christina Pretto told me the company generally refuses interviews and recommended contacting Odyssey Real Estate Capital’s Managing Director Greg Johnson, whose company was involved in the sale. and worked on the sitemaps for years.
In a draft press release provided by Johnson, Lone Star said he was “very happy to see this site in the hands of Brightline”.
“The proposed rail project will be an incredible addition to Las Vegas and will help facilitate additional visitors to one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations,” Johnson said in the statement.
Of course, this being Las Vegas, no real estate proposal is a sure thing. The casino capital of the United States has a long history of developers who launch big plans and never follow through. Plus, this isn’t the first time people have looked to connect Las Vegas to Los Angeles with passenger rail service.
As an editorial in the Review-Journal once put it, residents of southern Nevada “should never lose sight of the fact that the teeming population center of LA is our No.1 market,” and all that ” reduced tourist flow from LA will hurt our economy. ”
“Anything that speeds up this flow, including something like a 300 mph train rolling on a cushion of air, must be a godsend,” the newspaper said.
This editorial, I must point out, was published in 1969.