Max Baer Jr. has gone to court in efforts to build his proposed $54 million Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino in a shopping center he shares with The Glenbrook Co. and J.C. Penney.
Standing in the way of Baer's plans are restrictions barring development of a theater, bowling alley, nightclub or other place of recreation or amusement at the mall in Nevada's capital city.
In a Carson City District Court petition filed Monday, lawyers for Baer said he has a legal right to develop his property, adding that the issue of the restrictions "is ripe for judicial determination."
"We were hoping to resolve these issues outside the courtroom," said Glenbrook Co. spokeswoman Shelley Aldean. "That Baer has chosen to take this to the courts is regrettable."
Signed in 1993 between the three major property owners at the time - J.C. Penney Co., Glenbrook Corporation and Wal-Mart - the restrictions limit the mall's use to commercial purposes "normally found in a retail shopping center."
Wal-Mart had sought the restrictions, and they remained in place after the company's departure in July 2002.
Aldean said Baer doesn't have the right to develop a casino without the cooperation of his partners.
"Penney's and Glenbrook both have a substantial investment in the mall. This was always intended to be a cooperative venture among partners, both for development and for future development if a vacancy is created," she said. "He (Baer) just wants us to roll over and allow him to build his casino."
Plans for the casino include a 200-foot flaming oil derrick, 30,000-square-foot casino with 800 slot machines and 16 game tables, a 240-room hotel and restaurants - all keying on the Beverly Hillbillies" TV series in which Baer starred as the doltish Jethro Bodine.
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