Legends at Sparks

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SPARKS, NV-RED Development has landed the attractor it needs to complement the Nevada incarnation of its Legends retail concept, a $500-million casino-resort planned for this eastern suburb of Reno. Olympia Gaming, which is also developing the 70-acre Southern Highlands Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas, said recently it will develop a 1,000-room hotel, casino and spa as part of Legends at Sparks Marina, RED’s planned 100-acre outdoor shopping and entertainment development here on Helms Lake.

RED principal Dan Lowe tells GlobeSt.com that the 800,000- to 1 million-sf retail center should break ground this fall and open around the end of 2007. The first phase of the casino should open several months later, in the third quarter of 2008, he says. The development may also include a minor league baseball stadium.

Lowe says early commitments for the retail space include Brooks Brothers, Cantina Corona, FreedomRoads/Camping World, Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse and Pin-Up Bowl. All told, he says he’s received commitment for about 50% of the space that will turn into signed leases once all the necessary development approvals are obtained.

Legends at Sparks Marina is the second ‘Legends’ branded product by RED. The original is in the Village West area of Kansas City, where in lieu of a casino-resort RED positioned the center next to an 80-acre Nebraska Furniture Mart, the Kansas Speedway, Cabella’s and a minor league baseball park, placing it in the path of several million annual tourists.

Lowe tells GlobeSt.com that retail sales at Legends at Village West are in excess of $350 per sf, and he expects slightly better numbers in Sparks because of the casino component. “If we come in at $375 to $400, we’ll be right up there with the top mall in town,” he says.

The hotel-casino project will go up in phases. The first phase will include 500 luxury guestrooms in a 25-story tower, a 65,000-sf casino, 50,000 sf of restaurant space, a 20,000-sf spa, 30,000 sf of meeting space and a 1,250-stall parking garage. Completion of the first phase is slated for late 2008 or early 2009. The second phase, a second 25-story tower, would double the number of hotel rooms and expand the casino, meeting and dining facilities.

A source at Olympia Gaming tells GlobeSt.com it is purchasing 12 acres of land on the lake at the west edge of the property. A private beach and an amphitheater that would feature a water show of some sort also are planned as part of the development.

Meanwhile, the competition is beefing up. Both the Peppermill and Atlantic casinos are expanding and Station Casinos has announced a $500-million project in the very southerly part of Reno that is slated to open in 2009.