Re­ceiver urges judge to pick Clark County

One bid­der cut from Moulin Rouge prop­erty

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - NEVADA - By Jamie Munks Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal

Re­ceiver Kevin Hanchett is rec­om­mend­ing a judge choose Clark County’s bid to buy the his­toric for­mer Moulin Rouge prop­erty.

The county bid $6.2 mil­lion, plus de­mo­li­tion costs es­ti­mated to to­tal $2 mil­lion, Hanchett said Thurs­day.

A judge is ex­pected to soon make a de­ci­sion on who will own the sto­ried Bo­nanza Road prop­erty, the site of the first racially in­te­grated ho­tel-casino in Las Ve­gas. Four groups have bid on the site, and all but the county want to bring back the Moulin Rouge.

“Some­times it’s all about eco­nomics,” Hanchett said of the judge’s ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion. “Some­times it’s not.”

County spokesman Dan Kulin said last month the prop­erty in west Las Ve­gas was be­ing eyed for the county Fam­ily Ser­vices depart­ment main ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices. If the county pre­vails, the his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the site, which is on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places, would be rec­og­nized, Kulin said.

The de­ci­sion was de­layed last month be­cause the bid­ders were sub­mit­ting en­hanced of­fers, and Hanchett didn’t have enough time to let cred­i­tors know, he said.

Real Es­tate Man­age­ment Ser­vices LLC wants a full re­vi­tal­iza­tion of the Moulin Rouge, with what project fa


cil­i­ta­tor Alan Glover called “a heavy level of moder­nity.”

The com­pany ini­tially sub­mit­ted a $6.2 mil­lion bid. Hanchett said the com­pany did not re­spond to a re­quest to cover de­mo­li­tion costs, but Glover told the Re­view-jour­nal that Real Es­tate Man­age­ment Ser­vices is will­ing to pay for de­mo­li­tion. The group has a master plan for the site that will in­clude en­ter­tain­ment, em­pow­er­ment, em­ploy­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion, Glover said.

An­other group, Spec Homes, has been work­ing along­side the Ward 5 Cham­ber of Com­merce on a plan for the site. Kather­ine Dun­can, the cham­ber pres­i­dent, is a pro­po­nent of a Moulin Rouge re­vival.

Dun­can has said she en­vi­sions a mul­ti­fac­eted de­vel­op­ment at the site, in­clud­ing an African Amer­i­can cul­tural cen­ter and mu­seum, a hos­pi­tal­ity train­ing fa­cil­ity, a mo­tel and shop­ping cen­ter. The group in­creased their bid to $5 mil­lion, said they would cover the de­mo­li­tion costs and short­ened the time­frame to close on the prop­erty to 90 days, Hanchett said.

For­mer Ne­vada Assem­bly­man Har­vey Mun­ford, chair­man of the Ward 5 Cham­ber of Com­merce, urged Judge El­iz­a­beth Gon­za­lez in a let­ter to choose Spec Homes’ bid.

“We be­lieve that un­der the cir­cum­stances we are the best and right­ful buyer for this prop­erty although of­fers may be higher,” Mun­ford wrote.

Las Ve­gas Moulin Rouge LLC bid $8 mil­lion and said it would cover de­mo­li­tion costs, but be­cause of the com­pany’s past fi­nan­cial is­sues, Hanchett re­quested it put a de­posit down along with its bid. It was un­able to do that, Hanchett said.

“In ef­fect, they dropped out,” he said.

The Moulin Rouge’s brief hey­day in the 1950s was cut short. The 15acre Bo­nanza Road prop­erty has since been the site of decades worth of failed re­de­vel­op­ment at­tempts and fires. The most re­cent blaze tore through what re­mained of the Moulin Rouge build­ing last week, prompt­ing the city of Las Ve­gas to tear down the struc­ture that burned. Other va­cant build­ings, where home­less peo­ple some­times seek shel­ter, re­main on the 15-acre site.

Con­tact Jamie Munks at jmunks@ re­viewjour­ or 702-383-0340. Fol­low @Jamiemunksrj on Twit­ter.

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