Marnell Gaming, owner of Sparks Nugget, buys Bourbon Square | nnbw.com

Marnell Gaming, owner of Sparks Nugget, buys Bourbon Square

A key piece of the Victorian Square renaissance may be back in play.

Marnell Gaming, parent company of the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, recently purchased Bourbon Square Casino.

The casino at Victorian Plaza and Victorian Avenue in Sparks and near the Nugget, has been shuttered since early 2015.

"The purchase of the former Bourbon Square property made sense given the timing, since it is a key piece of real estate for the future of Victorian Square," Randy Kennedy, director of marketing communications at the Nugget told the NNBW in an emailed response to questions. "We are exploring several long-term possibilities and plan to make the most beneficial use of the purchase both for the future of the Nugget and downtown Sparks. Short term plans include utilizing the space for summer special event staging."

According to the Washoe County Assessors website, Marnell, under the subsidiary name of Smooth Bourbon LLC, purchased the property for $3.5 million. The sale of the 111,372-square-foot, three-story building on nearly 2 acres was recorded June 5.

Constructed in 1982, the property operated as the Silver Club until 2009. Northern NV Asset Holdings, LLC reopened it in 2013 as Bourbon Square Casino. But with an economy still climbing out of the recession, it struggled from the beginning.

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A hotel behind the casino was part of the deal, but remained closed.

In 2015, developers LandCap Investments and GreenStreet Communities purchased the Silver Club Hotel to turn into urban apartments. During negotiations for the closed hotel, the then owners of Bourbon Square offered to also sell the casino.

Stephen Hinckley, CEO of Landcap, told the NNBW that the former hotel, now the 100-unit Square One Apartments, was not part of the casino sale to Marnell.

LandCap and GreenStreet Communities gutted the interior of Bourbon Square with plans to create a multi-use development of retail, residential, restaurants and offices to be known as The Yard. However, over the years the vision changed and the developers focused on other projects in the area.

The shuttered Bourbon Square has cast a shadow on the whirlwind of recent development in Victorian Square.

The Square One apartments filled quickly after opening a year ago.

Silverwing Development began construction in 2015 on Fountainhouse Apartments, bringing 236 new apartments to downtown Sparks.

Silverwing is currently building another new apartment complex in the square. The 192 apartments in The Bridges are expected to open for occupancy later this year.

Both Silverwing developments also incorporate retail space.

In the midst of the apartment developments in 2016, the Sparks Century 14 Theatre in Victorian Square closed its doors after a 19-year run. In October 2016, Syufy Enterprises, owner of the theater property, announced the theater would reopen in late summer 2017 with a theater run by Galaxy Theatre LLC, the owners of the Sparks IMAX Luxury Theatre in the Outlets at Legends in Sparks.

And now Bourbon Square will be back in the mix of a new Victorian Square.