The Boulevard mall, a once-thriving Las Vegas shopping hub that slid in popularity and financial health over the years, was sold to local developer Roland Sansone on Nov 21, 2013. Sansone has been developing it since. What was once an ordinary collection of stores is now a much improved, spectacular shopping and entertainment center.
Developer, Roland Sansone, is bringing entertainment, dining and shopping to a mixed-use property, The Boulevard Mall Las Vegas. State of the art Luxury theaters, sea aquarium, bumper cars, bowling, carousel, golf, Olympic size climbing walls, children’s adventure park, and a Grand Prix race track. Roland Sansone was interviewed by Bob Massi on Fox News: “Sometimes when everyone is running one way, you’ll find one person running in the opposite direction. That’s the case with Roland Sansone.”
Watch the Fox News video below to see how Roland Sansone is redeveloping the Boulevard to change lives in the inner city community.
If you have a family, you know the challenges and the rewards. Likewise with owning your own business. We asked Roland Sansone – So what’s it like to put both of them together?
Roland Sansone Discusses Working with Family
Just ask Roland Sansone in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the founder of Sansone Development, he also works with his sons Miles and Devon, who both hold leadership positions within the company.
“When I look back on everything we’ve accomplished as a company, I can say things were only made better by working with my sons Miles and Devon,” he said. “They brought unique talents to the organization, talents that have benefited everyone as a whole.”
Today, Roland Sansone can say he has a real success story on his hands – the company has a commercial real estate portfolio of nearly a million square feet – and he chalks a lot of it up to working with family. Here are the benefits he points out.
1. You share the same values.
Many otherwise successful business partnerships fail because the principals don’t see eye to eye. And while a little bit of difference can be healthy – even beneficial – if there’s too much of a philosophical gulf to traverse, it may spell doom for the organization.
When you work with family, however, you can avoid this pitfall.
“I raised my sons according to the values I have, and as they matured, they grew to share those values,” Roland Sansone said. “That helps us work together better as a company.”
2. There are fewer surprises – and the ones that do happen are good.
There’s a side benefit to sharing values: you’re seldom surprised by the people you’re working with. Family members have the benefit of knowing each other well, so they know how they’ll respond to specific challenges and obstacles.
“It’s kind of like knowing the engine of your car,” Roland Sansone said. “It’s always good to know how all the parts work together.”
Likewise with your family members. And if you take the approach that Roland Sansone did, you can align your family members with roles in the business that complement their natural skill sets. This makes for a more rewarding career for the family member, and a greater benefit to the organization. It also frees them up to let their natural abilities shine through, meaning they’ll most likely find ways to impress you that you never thought possible.
3. You spend more time together.
Family time. There’s nothing like it, and it’s an essential component to strengthening the bonds that tie us together. And when you run a family business, you can strengthen those bonds through a shared purpose.
“I love showing up at the office and seeing my sons,” Roland Sansone said. “And while we’re focused on business and achieving objectives, you have to be grateful for every moment you spend with your family.”
Of course, nothing replaces those activities that are focused on family exclusively – shared meals, vacations, holidays – but seeing the people you love on a daily basis is a blessing that few of us get to share. A family business enables one to enjoy life’s most precious commodity: time spent with those you care about.
4. You build more than a business.
Much of what makes a successful business is tangible: profits, relationships made, projects built. But there’s also a notion of a legacy that goes into creating a truly successful enterprise.
“Ever since I started this business, I’ve been focused on making the community better. It’s a higher standard than just turning a profit,” said Roland Sansone. “With my sons as part of this business, I know they’ll carry that vision forward. To me, that’s the most important legacy of all.”
Roland Sansone and Sansone Development have always worked hard to be good community partners. The company sacrificed for its tenants during the Great Recession, even to the detriment of the organization, all in the interest of helping Las Vegas businesses see their way through troubled times. And most recently, with the acquisition and redevelopment of The Boulevard, the company has reinvigorated the heart of one of our city’s most important community corridors.
Together, Roland Sansone and his sons have created a company that does more for the city it calls home. By working together as a family, they’ve accomplished more for the community. And when it comes to family businesses, that’s the greatest benefit of all.
When you’ve built one of the foremost development companies in a city known for building great things, you learn a thing or two about success. So it is with Roland Sansone.
Roland Sansone on the History of Nevada’s Largest Mall
When he founded the company that bears his name, Sansone Development, back in 1978, Real Estate Developer Roland Sansone, started by focusing on fixing up older homes. Eventually, he transitioned his company to custom homes, followed by professional office buildings and retail shopping centers. Eventually, the company’s efforts culminated in the purchase of Nevada’s oldest and largest mall – The Boulevard, totaling 1.2 million square feet and originally built in 1968 by Moe Dalitz, Allard Roen and Irwin Molasky. This $54.5 million purchase was followed by $44 million in upgrades, completely re-imagining this iconic Las Vegas location into a brand-new community hub where people and families can meet for entertainment, dining and shopping.
“As our city has grown, so has Sansone Companies,” said Roland Sansone. “No matter how big we got, we never lost sight of our core values, and on putting the customer first, no matter what. Even though we build and develop, this is still a people business, and you can’t lose that human touch.” As a testament to this, during the Great Recession Roland Sansone helped many tenants weather the bad economy to his own detriment, and lost some properties to the lenders.
Those core values include five principles that the company – led by Roland Sansone’s sons Miles Sansone and Devon Sansone– still lives by today.
Developer Roland Sansone discussing the five principles of his company:
There’s no greater hazard to a business than trying to do too many things. All too often, the result is doing none of them right. Developer Roland Sansone has focused on different aspects of development throughout the lifetime of his company, but never on too many things at once. Sansone Development by choice is not a contractor, architect or an engineer. This allows Roland Sansone’s company to find the best people and firms to help with each of the developments. Initially, the focus was residential remodels. Then, large custom homes. Following that, professional office, medical and retail space. And finally, the focus became creating the new heart of a community in one of Las Vegas’ most storied corridors – The Boulevard on Maryland Parkway. This bold venture to redevelop and fix The Boulevard neighborhood was quite an undertaking; it has taken Roland Sansone over two years and a lot of work. As you drive North on Maryland parkway from Russel, to Tropicana, to Flamingo and past Desert Inn you will see enormous investments coming and changes to the Maryland corridor.
“We never lose sight of the job at hand,” says Roland Sansone. “Though you’ve always got a pipeline of work coming in, you can’t take your eyes off the work you’ve rolled your sleeves up to do at the moment. That kind of focus is essential for any business that hopes to grow – and more importantly, seeks to serve its customers well.”
For its size, Las Vegas is famous for being a small town in a lot of ways. That means people who burn bridges don’t last very long here. That kind of culture is ideal for an organization like Sansone Development, and for professionals like developer Roland Sansone. Doing right by customers, tenants, investors and partners is the bedrock of not only completing major projects, but also in ensuring that more of them come your way.
Roland Sansone says, “Keeping your word is what helps you build that reputation as a person with integrity. It makes it easier to do business – investors trust you, partners seek your advice, and customers are more comfortable with you because they know you’re on their side.”
Seeing a job through is what bedevils a lot of companies, and many entrepreneurs. Individuals may fall in love with a line of work for a certain aspect of it, but in any profession, it often comes along with a lot of tasks that make the job feel less than fun. Maintaining enthusiasm, excellence and commitment through every part of the job is what makes the difference between a good company and a great one, says Roland Sansone. He continues: “You’re never going to get far without buckling down and doing the work when the going gets tough. The key is to take those passions that you have and apply them to all parts of the job – even those you may not prefer. Eventually, you’ll learn that diligence is, in fact, its own kind of reward.”
4. Hard work.
If you love what you do it will never be hard work. At Sansone Development the staff looks forward to coming to work because of the love of the job, the team effort and the comradery that occurs at the office. But putting in your best effort, day after day, is the mark of a true professional. Those are the kinds of team members developer Roland Sansone surrounds himself with at Sansone Development.
“If you’re not tired at the end of the day, I’d say you’ve probably done something wrong,” says Roland Sansone. “Throughout my career, I’ve always valued people who only have one setting: one hundred percent. For the truly great professional, there’s never a time when you put in anything less than that.”
We hear a lot about it in government, but transparency is essential in the private sector, too. In a lot of ways, it’s the secret behind a lot of other great core values, like integrity and honesty. For Roland Sansone’s industry – commercial development – it’s even more essential. Working with diverse partners makes it crucial that all parties are open and transparent.
Five core values – focus, integrity, diligence, hard workand transparency. These are the principles that have fueled the success of developer Roland Sansone and the developments his company has created.
Roland Sansone Purchased The Boulevard and Transformed it:
When Roland Sansone bought the iconic Boulevard Mall for $55 million, that investment was only the beginning. Now called “The Boulevard”, this one-of-a-kind destination is now more than just shopping, offering an experience that encompasses entertainment, dining and shopping.
So with the arrival of the Las Vegas’s newest entertainment epicenter, here are a few surprising experiences Sansone Development has put together at The Boulevard.
It’s got things to do, not just things to buy.
Roland Sansone envisioned something completely for Las Vegas’s favorite mall – in fact, it’s not just a mall anymore. The Boulevard is a place for families to gather for fun and entertainment. In addition to the great diversions already on offer, The Boulevard has completely new experiences coming soon – including Seaquest Aquarium, an upcoming luxury movie theater; a trampoline park and much more.
“Our intention was to create a center for the community,” said Roland Sansone.” We want to make a place that’s great for the families we serve. This isn’t about retail space…it’s about bringing people together in an environment that builds community.”
Roland Sansone is building a community resource.
Sansone Development envisioned a place that would serve as the heart of the community, so they’ve carefully assembled a collection of community-centric services that would help make local residents’ lives better. Look to The Boulevard for employment, with jobs to be found at an on-site call center; healthcare, with the addition of an upcoming clinic and dentist’s office; and the area’s leading Goodwill center (with customization of the retail space paid for by Roland Sansone and Sansone Companies).
“Health, work, and family are what it’s all about,” said Roland Sansone. “Those are the values that have helped me build a great family life in this city, and I want to give back so that others have it, too.”
It’s a community center.
As Roland Sansone says, “Every community needs a heart. And although Las Vegas is a great city, we need to focus on individual neighborhoods and build them piece by piece, one by one, so we can ultimately build a stronger city.”
The Maryland Parkway corridor is an important part of our city. With the revitalization of The Boulevard, now there’s a new heart of this important community hub. By completely reimagining the largest mall into the state, transforming it into an entertainment and community nexus, there’s now a groundswell of development activity in this part of the city. Sansone Companies has doubled the lighting at the site, enhanced safety, installed energy-efficient LEDs, revamped the landscaping, and provided much-needed upgrades from Tropicana to Sunrise.
It’s part of our city’s future.
Roland Sansone realizes that to recognize the vital importance of the Maryland Parkway, look no further than the Regional Transportation Commission. Currently, the RTC is studying the feasibility of a light rail system that connects McCarran International Airport to Downtown Las Vegas via Maryland Parkway. The Boulevard is proud to be part of these bold steps forward.
Roland Sansone explains: “Transportation is critical to helping all Las Vegans. We want to connect all residents to the resources they need to build better, happier lives.”
Roland Sansone recognizes the importance of families.
It’s not enough to build a mall. Roland Sansone and Sansone Development have set out to create a new heart of Las Vegas along one of its most vital corridors. The Boulevard is just the beginning – from here, there’s no telling where the momentum might take us.
Together, Roland Sansone and his development partners are making Las Vegas better – one development at a time.
Always focused on redevelopment in Las Vegas, Roland Sansone commented recently on the Downtown Container Park. “The Las Vegas Downtown Container Park was a great Idea of redevelopment and it has helped revitalize the downtown area. The open air shopping area, restaurants and the kids play area provides a totally different experience than the Las Vegas Boulevard Mall.” The kids area has a 30 foot slide and a water area in the middle of the park. This unique spot is located just blocks away from Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. This is not far from the Fremont Street Experience, which has also recently been revitalized.
Roland Sansone personally enjoys this park with his kids and grandkids, often. The play treehouse, the food and the atmosphere of families enjoying themselves, makes for a great time. Roland would highly recommend everyone visit this unique urban destination.
The downtown area has been second in focus to the larger and more famous Las Vegas Strip. However, in the last decade, the city has been working on revitalization efforts to entice more visitors and residents to the downtown area.
Downtown Container Park:
The Downtown Container Park is a known as a family-friendly outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment attraction. The park is made completely of shipping containers stacked upon each other. This unique venue offers a variety of boutique shops and restaurants.
If you are local to Vegas or a visiting tourist, you should consider coming downtown, as a lot of creativity, hard work and planning has gone into revamping the many things families can do here. Here are a few other things you may want to consider doing when coming downtown. These venues opened in 2012 and 2013:
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
The Mob Museum
The DISCOVERY Children’s Museum which is directly next to The Smith Center
For those unfamiliar with this part of Las Vegas,Downtown Las Vegas (DTLV) is the central business district and historic center of Las Vegas. It is the original townsite and was the gambling district of Las Vegas prior to the Strip.
As part of their ongoing renovations, Roland Sansone is helping to bring in popular new stores and restaurants to regain its foothold in the community.
What makes the newly remodeled Boulevard Mall in Vegas so invigorating is the wealth of new possibilities. The whole goal of the recent Boulevard Mall upgrades is to enhance what guests already love while eliminating what doesn’t work anymore.
One segment that is getting a big boost is the dining experience, thanks to the upcoming opening of the Hatari Restaurant & Sports Bar conceptualized by Roland Sansone and others at the Mall.
Hatari Restaurant & Sports Bar is coming to the New Boulevard Mall in summer of 2016. This newly constructed bar will be unlike any other sports bar currently in Vegas. Roland Sansone and his team spent many hours visualizing the concept for the new sports pub and here is some of what we have to look forward to:
Roland Sansone promises – Sports Galore
Sports fans surrounded by dozens upon dozens of large state of the art television screens streaming all the favorite local and international sports games including basketball, football, UFC, boxing, tennis, baseball, and more. There will be live streaming South American soccer games and European Soccer games to cater to the diverse neighborhood.
Décor – This bar will look and feel like no other in Las Vegas. The entry will have a stunning chandelier hanging from a high vaulted ceiling. Each table will be a design by a highly respected and sought after designer coming out of LA. The chairs will be comfortable and plush. The bar will be a beautiful quartz material. The lighting in the dining area will be modern and soft. There will be two patios, one patio that will be open for those who enjoy sitting outside that has gas heaters and coolers making it comfortable year round. The other patio will be enclosed and have tons of televisions so our guests can enjoy the game while enjoying the natural light.
Roland Sansone and his team do not stop there.
For the Menu – The Executive Chef brings over 15 years of restaurant experience and will ensure that you will be delighted by everything on the menu. We will have a traditional bar menu with a twist. We will offer elevated upscale versions of modern bar food like wings, burgers, and pizzas. We will also have some signature items including Queso Fundido topped with Carne Asada, Cajun Chicken & Shrimp Pasta, Hatari Venezuelan Burger, Indian Samosas, and New York Strip Steak served with our unique Hatari sauce. Also, this will be the only bar of this magnitude that has a tandoor oven, which allows us to cook tasty ethnic dishes quickly and with maximum flavor. Other dishes include popular Tandoor dishes, such as Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Lobster, Tandoori Lamb, and several types of Naan (which is a highly popular Indian Bread).
Drinks – Welcome to the home of the 99 cent beer. There will a drink for every taste and occasion. From the vast beer menu to the specialty cocktails prepared by innovative mixologists, fine wines, and dessert drinks.
Roland Sansone and his team also took a look at the options for Entertainment. There will be a large stage featuring live bands, DJ’s, live comedy, Karaoke, and more. Every night will have a different flavor – dance the night away with your Latin passion during Salsa night, rock on during the rock-n-roll night, line dance to your country favorites, sway back to the 90s, get your 70s groove on, and light up the present with EDM. Get into the game when you come to our Super Bowls parties, March Madness Bonanza, and playoffs for all sports. Also planned are interactive games around the restaurant, including interactive sports trivia games.
Vegas is still a growing and maturing city that is ready to compete with the large hubs of California, Denver, Arizona and Texas. The Sansone Companies and Roland Sansone feel that to properly compete with those markets, mass transit has to improve, not just within the city, but to and from California as well. One success stories, Portland, where they now have an excellent vehicle ride share and light rail within the city.
What are some other things we should do in Las Vegas to compete?
The entry into Las Vegas (from the Airport) needs to demolish the remaining homes and buildings that are dilapidated and welcome a more inviting image of coming into Las Vegas.
Finally, we need an almost re-imagination of Las Vegas, a place that adults play, but also work as well. A place where highly intellectual individuals can bring their families in an affordable environment (tax, housing and lifestyle) that is a short drive or plane ride to any weekend getaway that they want.
There are already a lot of positives that Las Vegas has positioned itself for:
The SouthWest part of Las Vegas has one of the largest data converging areas in the United States. There is also an Expansion of industrial hubs in Las Vegas, most notably, the COH’s desire for a 55-acre master land project.
Here is a Commercial Property tip for those of you in commercial development and looking to buy land right now.
Finding commercial property in today’s market is challenging. Land bankers feel their land is worth 2008 prices, $800k – $1M per acre, but a project does not pencil at those rates. In our business, we call that a Land Banker, someone sucking out the first years of profit for a center.
To clarify, when buying a piece of land at the $800k-$1M range you would need a rental rate of $3.25-3.50 to stabilize the center for permanent financing, and your forecast would take 2-3 years to realize those rental rates to tenants.
So, for all of you commercial land buyers that are looking, if you buy the Land, they are taking your profit spread from your lender for the first several years until you reach a rate that permanent financing reaches a stabilized debt service.
Just take caution and be smart when finding land for your next commercial property.