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LAS VEGAS-Royal Palm Communities of Boca Raton, FL, has put on hold its plans for an 1,800-room resort at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. Royal Palm CEO Daniel Kodsi tells GlobeSt.com he has listed the 10.6-acre, two-parcel site for sale at $18 million per acre, or just under $191 million.

The properties back up to McCarran International Airport at 5191 Las Vegas Blvd. S., which is directly across from the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. For 45 years, the southernmost parcel was home to the Klondike Hotel & Casino, which was demolished earlier this year. Royal Palm Las Vegas, a subsidiary of RPC, acquired the parcels in 2005 for a combined $65.75 million and proceeded to obtain the entitlements for Paramount Las Vegas, a luxury hotel and resort that includes 1,800-plus hotel rooms, 120,000 sf of convention and meeting space, an 80,000-sf casino, six to eight restaurants, 20,000 sf of specialty retail and a 1,200-seat theater.

“We had the whole thing ready to go; we had Taylor Construction lined up and were working with Credit Suisse when the market turned,” Kodsi says. “We are still talking to people about a possible JV but we had to put our plans on hold and take a parallel path by listing the property with Colliers International. We can’t keep carrying the land, we still have debt on it.”

Earlier this year, a company by the name of Epic Corp. that is traded on www.pinksheets.com announced that it had submitted a letter of intent to acquire a “major real estate development” on the Las Vegas Strip. Its principal, Mick Bazuly, later told GlobeSt.com that the development in question was the entitled property owned by RPC.

Kodsi tells GlobeSt.com that Epic never actually submitted an LOI. “I was approached by him but they don’t have the capability of buying this project,” he says. “He’s just trying to shop a deal.”

The $18 million per-acre asking price for the $10.6-acre site is below the $20 million per-acre pricing that has been the going rate for Strip property. Despite considering a sale, Kodsi thinks the Vegas hotel market will turn for the better within 12 months. “In the long run, if you build that asset it will have its day,” he says.

The Klondike opened in 1962 as a Motel 6. It was sold in 1972 for $1 million and the new owners added the casino, bars and restaurant. The Klondike closed its doors in June 2006, nine months after being acquired by RPC. It was demolished last month after homeless people took up residence.

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