Summerlin to get a non-gaming hotel

Summerlin is continuing to grow. LaPour is building a new extended 123 room hotel under Westin's Element brand. This will be the first non-gaming hotel in Summerlin. Construction is already under way.

The project is located on the corner of Town Center Drive and I-215, next to the Nevada Cancer Institute. The hotel will be a modest four stories with a contemporary glass and steel exterior. The rooms will feature kitchens with stainless steel appliances and flat screen tvs. The hotel will also have a fitness center, pool, barbecue areas and a business center.

Summerlin's continued growth has helped keep it as one of the best selling master planned communities in the country. Two new villages are scheduled for construction this year. At build out, Summerlin will be home to 30 unique neighborhoods.

DDA for World Jewelry Center approved

The World Jewelry Center just bypassed another major hurdle. Earlier this week, the Las Vegas city council approved a disposition and development agreement (DDA) for the center in Union Park. The tower will include over 800,000 square feet of for sale office space, 98 residential luxury condominiums and 225,000 square feet of retail space and structured parking.  The current pricing is approximately $800 per square foot and the developer has LOIs for about a third of the office space. The tower is a designated Foreign Trade Zone, which will hold enormous appeal for the major jewelry industry companies due to the significant savings that it will offer. It wil allow companies to import raw goods without paying duties, add value and export them without paying duties, or sell them inside the US and pay a reduced duty rate. The potential savings are astronomical and it could make Las Vegas become the western jewelry hub of the US.

The top 10 floors of the towers will house the residential penthouse type condominiums. They will be some of the most luxurious Las Vegas high rise condos available. Owners will have their own elevator bank and private lobby. According to the developer, the residential units will cost about double per square foot of the commercial space.

This is great news for owners of Newport, Verge, Soho and Streamline Tower high rise units. Its not unreasonable to foresee property values going up with such a high profile neighbor.  Union Park is a green project. In addition to the Premium Outlet Mall and World Market, the list of projects  in Union Park includes the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, the Access Medical-Kimpton Hotel projects and the Charlie Palmer Hotel. 

What's in a name?

As Shakespeare once asked, what's in a name?  Quite a bit when there's potentially billions of dollars at stake. Name recognition is a very powerful force in marketing. Fortunes have been made and lost because of it. That's why there has been quite a stir about a new proposed project to replace the new Frontier that was demolished earlier this month.

What is all the fuss about? The New York-based Elad Group, owner of the land that was just cleared of the Frontier has planned to replace the casino with a Las Vegas version of the world famous New York Plaza, named (wait for it) the Plaza. Sounds good right?  Well, not to the current owners of the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas.

This past August, the owners of the historic downtown property, Tamares Las Vegas Properties sued the Elad Group to prohibit them from using the Plaza name on the Las Vegas strip property. The case eventually wound up in Federal court. After reviewing the case, the federal judged kicked it back to Clark County.

With the potential revenue involved, I doubt Elad is giving up the fight so quickly. It looks like this will be a long drawn out battle, but at least for the downtown Plaza's owners, they get to fight in their own backyard. Who knows, it may even be resolved by 2012 when the new resort is supposed to be completed.

In other news, there was a new addition to the Las Vegas strip, Planet Hollywood had there grand opening Wednesday. The property was built on the old Alladin site. At one time, the property was adverting high rise condos, but there isn't anything on their site about it. There may have been a change in plans, all things considered.


Historic Frontier soon to be dust

Union Park accepted for LEED pilot program

The 61 acre master plan in downtown Las Vegas has received another major shot in the arm. The 6 billion dollar commercial project has been accepted into the U. Green Building's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) pilot program (the only one in Nevada). The program uses a system blending urbanism, green building design and smart growth. The site is located adjacent to the Union Park rail yards, just east of the I15 freeway.

Union Park at a glance

The project is scheduled to be complete in 2018 and will house the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the World Jewelry Center (possible site of a FTZ) and the Charlie Palmer Hotel a 400-room boutique hotel and condominium tower. There will also be a medical office and hotel campus adjacent to the Brain Institute.

Completed projects in the area include the Las Vegas Outlet mall and the soon to be completed World Market. At its completion, the Union Park development could be the biggest green project in Nevada.

The impact the project will have on the property values for the surrounding Las Vegas real estate should be very positive, especially for the residential properties like Newport Lofts, Soho, Streamline Tower and Verge. The thousands of jobs the project will create should also help increase the demand for close, quality housing.


Why going Green makes Dollars and Sense

Historic Frontier soon to be dust

Within the next 24 hours, New Frontier Hotel will be imploded. As usual for Las Vegas, change is constant. The Frontier is being demolished to clear the way for the Plaza Hotel complex, that will be like the one in New York City. The project will be in the multi-billion dollar range. The 34.5 acre property was purchased for over one billion dollars, making it some of the pricest Las Vegas real estate on the strip.

Construction is slated to start in 2008 with a completion date some time in 2012. Early reports state that the project will have a 3,500 room ultra luxury hotel, retail shops, convention space, dining and condominiums. No word yet on whether they will condo hotel units like the Cosmopolitan or regular residential high rise condos like ones at the Sky Las Vegas.

Yet another huge construction project to hit the strip.

New Commercial Project in Henderson

Not all of the action will be taking place in Las Vegas. The city of Henderson has approved the largest resort to be built in city limits on an 80 acre parcel at the corner of St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard. The project, M Resort, Spa and Casino proposed $1-billion project includes an 11-story casino resort totaling 390 rooms and suites with 90,000 sf of gaming space and over 40,000 sf of meeting and conference space. Other planned amenities will include a large spa, canyon feature pool area with waterfalls, restaurants and other unnamed  entertainment options.  

The site is located about 10 miles south of the Las Vegas strip at an elevation 400 feet higher than most strip properties. The higher elevation should allow for some great views of the Las Vegas skyline and the surrounding mountains. Its reported that MGM Mirage Inc. is investing $160 million in M Resort.

It seems that commercial Henderson real estate is still going strong. because that's not the only commercial activity in the area. Another resort, Southern Highlands Resort is planning to develop a 100 acre parcel across from the M Resort site. It will be a mixed use project featuring approximately 600 hotel rooms, plus retail and entertainment space.

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