An industrial park south of Las Vegas is getting closer to reality

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A Reno developer has taken possession of a large property south of Las Vegas with plans to demolish a closed hotel-casino and build a sprawling industrial park.

Tolles Development Co. purchased approximately 142.3 acres of real estate off Interstate 15 in Jean for $44.7 million. The sale by the Herbst family, operator of the Terrible Herbst gas station chain, closed on February 24, according to property records.

There’s not much to Jean, a remote outpost about 25 miles south of the Strip whose only residents are state prison inmates. But as Tolles partner Cory Hunt previously said, truckers from Southern California could drop off products at the industrial park and back in a one-day round trip, and the project site has already access to public service.

Hunt confirmed Thursday that the sale is complete and that Tolles hopes to open its 1.9 million square foot warehouse and distribution complex in about a year to a year and a half.

He estimates that it would take three to five years to build the business park.

The site for the Shuttered Terrible Hotel-Casino would be the final phase of the complex, said Hunt, who said Tolles had not worked out how he would bring the structure down.

Still, he noted that the developers would like a film crew to come “help us celebrate blowing it up.”

“If we implode it, we’ll do it Vegas,” he said.

Clark County commissioners approved plans for the industrial park last month.

The Herbsts still have a presence in Jean, having opened a huge travel center there in 2018 that has 96 gas pumps and a 50,000 square foot convenience store. It’s across the highway from the other gas station in town: a Terrible’s truck stop.

Tolles’ purchase came with restrictions that effectively prevented his ownership from having businesses that would compete with Jean’s Herbsts.

As stated in the deed that registered the sale with Clark County, the site may not have a convenience store, grocery store, liquor store, coffee shop, car wash or fueling facilities or vehicle charging. It also cannot sell any fuel used “for the propulsion of motor vehicles”, including petroleum and gasoline.

Hunt said these were “terms that we all agreed to”.

Efforts to speak with a representative of the Herbst family or their company were unsuccessful on Thursday.

As the Review-Journal previously reported, Jean has an array of government services and operations, including a small airport, courthouse, fire station, and post office. Its only residents are the prisoners of the Jean Conservation Camp, a public facility that houses 240 inmates.

In 2014, MGM Resorts International reached an agreement to sell Jean’s former Gold Strike hotel-casino and “related assets” to the Herbst family for $12 million. The sale was completed in 2015.

The new owners launched a series of upgrades at Gold Strike and changed the name in 2018 to the flagship Herbst family brand. However, this property has been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Warehouse developers have been on a building spree for years in southern Nevada, and business has only increased during the pandemic as an accelerated shift to online shopping has fueled demand for retail space.

Industrial development in Jean would also provide employment opportunities for residents of Sandy Valley, Goodsprings and Sloan, county staff said, pointing to tiny, remote communities outside of Las Vegas.

Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. To follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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