Ex-NBA Player Has Deadline on Las Vegas Strip Proposal

A former NBA player planning to build a sports arena and hotel complex on the Las Vegas Strip has a deadline this month to fulfill county requirements before his application expires.

Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson
Business executive Jackie Robinson discusses his proposed development on the Las Vegas Strip at the 2014 groundbreaking. The project would include a sports arena and hotel complex. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Nancy Amundsen, Clark County’s director of comprehensive planning, told the County Commission on Wednesday that Jackie Robinson’s project application will be considered expired” if he doesn’t meet an April 21 deadline, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

A bond for the project and a performance agreement must be on the commission agenda by that April date for him to keep the project alive. A performance agreement details how the property would be restored if the project is halted before completion. These requirements are the result of various unfinished development projects in the county during economic downturns.

On Wednesday, the county agreed to language in the performance agreement and were told it and the bond would be ready next week. In October, the County Commission gave Robinson until this month to meet these obligations.

Robinson said his plan involves funding from sources in Qatar and Zurich, and from banks in Europe and the US, the newspaper reported. He also said his funding includes lines of credit and state of Nevada revenue bonds. He previously told the newspaper he is “1,000 percent” committed to building the project.

Lot Vacant for Years

The project, located at the northeast end of the Strip just south of East Sahara Avenue, has been stalled since the first efforts to get it going in 2014. 

The empty 27-acre lot is between the Sahara Las Vegas and the unfinished former Fontainebleau project. The Wet nWild water park once was located at that site.

Not much has happened at the site except for excavation work a few years ago and an effort by county health officials to capture mosquitos in standing water at the site. The mosquito abatement program resulted in 150 captured mosquitos, according to the newspaper.

Robinson envisions a lease-with-option-to-buy plan to acquire the space for $400 million from Las Vegas executive Paul Lowdens All Net Land Development LLC. 

The project agreement calls for a 22,000-seat sports arena with a retractable roof and a luxury nongaming hotel complex. Robinson has said the project could cost $3 billion. The complex also would include restaurants, a bowling alley, and more.

During his basketball career, the 65-year-old Robinson played collegiately at UNLV and in the NBA with the Seattle SuperSonics, Detroit Pistons, and Chicago Bulls.

Strip Undergoes Changes

That northern end of the Strip, which is just outside Las Vegas city limits, has undergone extensive change over the years. Many of the long-ago hotel-casinos associated with the Rat Pack era no longer exist. These include the Sands, Desert Inn, Riviera, and Stardust.

The Sahara, where the Beatles famously stayed in the 1960s, is one of the few from that earlier period still in operation on the Strip. This week, the Sahara announced numerous upgrades, including restaurants and a new swimming pool and pool deck.

On the other side of the Strip, Resorts World Las Vegas is set to open near Circus Circus and Slots-A-Fun at the site where the now-demolished Stardust once stood. The $4.3 billion Resorts World is the most expensive hotel-casino ever built on the Strip.

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