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  #281  
Old Posted May 24, 2006, 3:39 AM
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Great pictures

I've stayed at MGM a couple times but never saw the pool area from above like that, I guess since the hotel tower is farther away. From the ground the pool doesn't look as extensive.

Does anyone think the Aladdin's new paint job makes it look a little like a beached cruise ship? Maybe they should drop the Hollywood name and go with Poseidon instead. They could do a lot with that theme in terms of some wild rides in the pool area.
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  #282  
Old Posted May 24, 2006, 4:16 AM
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The nighttime rendering of Planet Hollywood looks ok.. What it looks like during the day is another story. They really did not think it through when they decided to change the paint scheme.. I actually think it may be possible that they may actually lose more money and go deeper into debt by continuing with this hideous choice of color and exterior than if they left it as the Aladdin with the orginal theme and colors.. Blue only looks good if it is on glass, and if it is a lighter blue color or a darker blue color, but medium blue anything is just a very poor color choice.. check out the nighttime rendering compared to what it actually looks like in the daytime.. ick..

http://www.vegastodayandtomorrow.com/planeth.htm
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  #283  
Old Posted May 24, 2006, 4:17 AM
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General Growth Properties Unveils Plans for Summerlin Centre; Summerlin's Social, Civic and Commercial Heart



Quote:
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 18, 2006--General Growth Properties (NYSE:GGP), parent company of The Howard Hughes Corporation, unveiled details Thursday of its plans for Summerlin Centre -- the future social, civic and commercial heart of the 22,500-acre master planned community of Summerlin, located on the Las Vegas Valley's western rim.

Plans for Summerlin Centre include a 100-acre community hub that combines retail shopping, dining, office space, a hotel and residences, all surrounding a series of grand public plazas to be known as Summerlin Square. An adjoining 300 acres of Summerlin Centre, which includes the new Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, will consist primarily of residential development, offering a wide array of housing styles set amidst town greens and gardens, all interconnected by paseos and pathways. Summerlin Centre will be located northeast of the intersection of the 215 Beltway and Sahara Avenue.

The eastern portion of Summerlin Centre will also include 1 million to 1.5 million square feet of office and commercial space, starting with the 6-story Business Bank of Nevada's corporate headquarters, for which ground has already been broken.

General Growth plans to begin construction of Summerlin Centre in spring 2007 and celebrate a fall 2008 grand opening.

"Summerlin Centre and Summerlin Square will be places of quality and charm where people come together to shop, work, play, relax, linger and people-watch. Summerlin Centre and Summerlin Square will be both an expression of the larger Summerlin community and a place that strengthens community," said John Bucksbaum, chief executive officer of General Growth. "We are paying close attention to the quality of the buildings and to the quality of the spaces between the buildings. Their collective purpose will be to create a place that brings people together."

General Growth planners based Summerlin Centre's features on extensive market research, including focus groups and meetings with local community leaders. Through a major collaborative effort involving several world-class architectural firms and consultants, General Growth anticipates development to be ongoing for more than a decade after the 2008 grand opening.

As a result of recent acquisitions, General Growth gained significant expertise with building large-scale mixed-use developments. Its other projects include the master planned communities of The Woodlands near Houston and Columbia, Md.

"We have found through development of large-scale mixed-use facilities that follow a carefully crafted plan, we achieve both critical mass and a harmony of uses. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Meanwhile, our master plan will remain a living document, always subject to review and amendment as phases are complete and we learn more about features that work," Bucksbaum said. "Any of these buildings could succeed on their own but their success will be vastly greater because they are conceived and built with attention to the larger place they create collectively."

Highlights of the development include:

-- 1.2 million square feet of retail shopping including four major department store anchors, additional "mini-anchors" and other local and national retail merchants.

-- A north-south pedestrian street, or paseo, that invites visitors to stroll, window-shop or relax at outdoor gardens and seating areas. Much of the retail shopping and restaurants will be located on the first floor of low-rise buildings stretched along the paseo. A grid pattern of east-west streets will allow easy vehicular and pedestrian access and add vitality.

-- A central plaza, Summerlin Square, which will host public and civic events such as musical or dramatic performances and community celebrations. Located at the paseo's mid-point, in the heart of the development, it will serve as a local and metropolitan destination.

-- An east-west "Marketwalk," intersecting the paseo at Summerlin Square. As an important point of arrival from the east, the Marketwalk will receive special design treatment, including pedestrian shelter from the sun.

-- A 250-room, 11-story, 4-star upscale hotel with conference facilities.

-- At least 5,500 residences of all varieties, everything from single-family homes in park-filled residential settings to condominiums in buildings with street-level retail stores and restaurants. About 10 percent of the residences will be part of the development surrounding Summerlin Square.

-- Two class-A office buildings of five stories each with street level space containing retail shops. The buildings constructed in the initial phase will total more than 250,000 square feet. More office space could be added later.

-- To maximize comfort during summer months, ample use of shading with trellises, awnings and special-design curtains.

-- Shaded patios and seating areas located throughout Summerlin Square for outdoor snacking, respite from heat and whiling away the day.

-- A 10 to 15 year plan for ongoing development of additional residential, retail, hospitality, civic and office buildings, making Summerlin the centerpiece of a larger business center creating jobs, amenities, homes and quality of life for southern Nevadans.

The northern portion of Summerlin Centre already boasts the just-opened 414-room Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, which offers entertainment, meeting facilities, 10 restaurants, a 16-screen theater, a world-class spa and a 3-acre pool complex. Summerlin Centre is 12 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.

To ensure high quality buildings and design, General Growth has assembled a team of world-class architects and design consultants including ELS, Berkley, Calif., project architects; Communication Arts, Boulder, Colo., environmental design and image; SWA Group, Sausalito, Calif., landscape architecture and urban design; CBT, Boston, hotel architecture and design; ROMA Design Group, San Francisco, residential community architecture; Rocky Mountain Institute, environmental sustainability consultants; and Martin Yoklik, an authority on outdoor comfort in warm climates.

"Central to the success of Summerlin Centre is our commitment to long-term vision, quality design and to organizing space that leverages the value of early-phase development, thereby enhancing the value of all future development," said Bucksbaum.

"We have an unwavering long-term commitment to Summerlin, with an ongoing willingness to adjust and modify plans in the short term as circumstances warrant. We always think of each step as one of many yet to come, with future phases of development anticipated and the ground made ready."

"Summerlin's location on the western rim of the Las Vegas valley, close to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, places great responsibility on our shoulders to be good stewards of the environment. By building according to our master plan, we avert urban sprawl and give people a place where they can live, work and shop all in close proximity without long commutes by car," said Bucksbaum. "We plan a commercial and civic center that is aesthetically complimentary to its beautiful surroundings and is a model for environment-friendly building and design."

Development of the Summerlin master planned community was started by The Howard Hughes Corporation in 1990 and final realization of the plan is expected by 2020. Today, more than 92,000 people live in 37,000 homes and apartments in the 36 square miles that Summerlin occupies. The community is currently home to 19 schools, nine golf courses, a dozen houses of worship, more than 100 parks and more than 120 completed miles of the Summerlin Trail. Summerlin's master plan calls for a variety of housing styles, parks, bike trails and retail and office space.

General Growth Properties acquired the The Howard Hughes Corporation in 2004.

General Growth Properties, Inc. is the second largest U.S.-based publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). General Growth currently has an ownership interest in or management responsibility for a portfolio of more than 200 shopping malls in 44 states, as well as ownership in planned community developments and commercial office buildings. The portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet of retail space and includes more than 24,000 retail stores nationwide. General Growth Properties, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP. For more information, please visit the Company Web site at http://www.generalgrowth.com.
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  #284  
Old Posted May 24, 2006, 8:13 PM
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The Key to High Rise Success

Revenue analysis key for builders

High-rise developers told to do homework


By HUBBLE SMITH
Las Vegas Review-Journal



One thing that the developers of the 25 or so high-rise developments that are now being built in Las Vegas had in common was a thorough and detailed financial analysis that they could present to bankers when they went looking a construction loan, an economic consultant said Tuesday.

"You need to do your homework. The heart and soul of a business plan will always be your pro forma," Thomas Climo said during a seminar by Lorman Education Services on high-rise development concerns. "You want your pro forma to be the same picture before you build as after you build."

The pro forma -- a revenue analysis of a project based on factors such as equity investment, debt financing, construction costs and sales and marketing -- will be sliced and diced by lenders looking for any discrepancies, any reason not to make the loan, he said.

Too many developers of luxury condo high-rises in Las Vegas have started with a Web site, fancy architectural renderings and a slick sales force before putting together the pro forma that calculates their expected revenues and an internal rate of return, Climo said.

Or, he added, they haven't been honest with the numbers and lied about their pro forma.

Banks treat high-rise developments as any other capital base that spins off cash flow, he said.

"Lenders have grown to have this huge disbelief of what's going on in Las Vegas. Bankers start getting a cold feeling, like these guys don't know what they're doing," Climo said. "There is a dilemma you're going to have with a pro forma -- skepticism in marketing."

When Donald Trump came to Las Vegas and announced prices starting at $1,000 a square foot for units at Trump International, people thought it was simply because of his name. Climo said it's likelier that Trump knew the market would bear those prices.

The nuts and bolts of preparing a pro forma is making assumptions, which can be affected by market conditions and other factors, Climo said.

The pro forma includes soft costs such as land acquisition, commissions paid on the land, permits and fees, marketing and other preconstruction costs. Hard costs include construction, furnishings, parking and tenant improvement allowances for office and retail.

A sample pro forma that Climo put together for an actual high-rise project in Las Vegas showed $121.8 million for hard costs, $49.2 million in soft costs, total revenue of $224.8 million and net project operating income of $53.8 million. The return on investment was calculated at 31.5 percent and the internal rate of return was 23.4 percent. He said pro formas are tweaked along the way.

John Riordan, vice president of sales for Turnberry Place, said Turnberry Associates spent about $4 million a year on marketing and advertising both locally and nationally when the luxury condo project was announced in 1998.

"People didn't know us and they didn't know our product," he said. "First of all, you determine what marketplace you want to reach. We're basically at the top end of the market. We're looking for an affluent market outside of the region, second home buyers. In Miami, we're looking in the Northeast. In Las Vegas, we're looking at California and Texas."

Demand is strong for high-rise living in Las Vegas, both from local residents who are tired of living in large custom homes and are looking to "lock and leave" and from other mature high-rise markets, Kathleen Ray, owner and broker at Subdivision Sales, said at the Lorman seminar.

"We're going to become a high-rise city. Think about Detroit and Chicago. Why will people come to Vegas? This is a 24-hour city, real estate, the weather. We're not used to high-rise living, but it's very exciting," Ray said. "It's all about the lifestyle, the amenities. What are you going to do for me? I want to go to the pool. I want to work out in the fitness center at night. A business center is really important and I think it's something that's missing in high-rises. People want to work from home."

When Turnberry Place was built, people wondered who the buyers would be and where are they, Ray said. "They're not here yet. They're comin' around the mountain."








Find this article at:
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_ho...s/7577598.html
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  #285  
Old Posted May 25, 2006, 6:58 AM
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Citycenter

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  #286  
Old Posted May 25, 2006, 2:21 PM
ukmichael27 ukmichael27 is offline
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City Center

Now that we have cranes up, maybe its time to change the status of City Center to Under Construction from Proposed?
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  #287  
Old Posted May 25, 2006, 3:41 PM
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CityCenter Status

I too share the excitement over CityCenter, this is my favorite project, and the largest most expensive planned project EVER in North America.


However, I'm not exactly sure what the cranes at CityCenter actually mean.. My guess is that they are doing site prep work.. Utility Relocation, drilling for underground parking structures and also for preparation to pour the foundations.. I personally would wait to change the status until A) we see a foundation being poured, or B) we see news that it has officially broken ground.. Also because of the size of this project we dont know all the details of how many towers it will include, how many phases are going under construction and which buildings are included in each phase.. Estimates range from 6 to 10 buildings in several stages.. Last I heard there were 3 stages, the first being the main hotel towers and the main entrance area.. Still have no idea what the final design is, and the official height puts the tallest building at I believe is 600 feet from the county planning commission.

Still a lot of details to be worked out, and I want to see a statement from MGM MIRAGE on the status of CityCenter, which I would assume will be coming out within a couple of days to a couple of weeks..
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  #288  
Old Posted May 25, 2006, 5:04 PM
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New Photos

New Photos from VegasTodayandTomorrow:
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  #289  
Old Posted May 26, 2006, 12:39 AM
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MGM Signature

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  #290  
Old Posted May 26, 2006, 10:08 PM
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Question cosmo

Why is the dirt not moving yet?! Didn't they "breakground" months and months ago? I see all these great shots of the cosmo but nothing has changed. They have five floors to remove! where are the dump trucks? Are they blowing hot air at us? I do have a unit and with the current environment I'm gett'n a little concerned.
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  #291  
Old Posted May 27, 2006, 1:04 AM
GeorgeLV GeorgeLV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solstadwest
Why is the dirt not moving yet?! Didn't they "breakground" months and months ago? I see all these great shots of the cosmo but nothing has changed. They have five floors to remove! where are the dump trucks? Are they blowing hot air at us? I do have a unit and with the current environment I'm gett'n a little concerned.
Are you looking at the same pictures as the rest of us? http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...&postcount=275

That an awful lot of equipment on site to be "blowing hot air". The fact is they can't just go in and dig a hole, utilities need to be relocated, soil testing needs to be done, etc, etc.
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  #292  
Old Posted May 27, 2006, 3:04 AM
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Another Town Square

Quote:
Queensridge brings taste of city to suburb

By Jennifer Shubinksi / Staff Writer


Model of The Village at Queensridge

Conference attendees admire a model of The Village at Queensridge, as its designers and developers discuss the project at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Wednesday.
Tiffany Brown

After taking on the luxury suburban high-rise market, Executive Home Builders is planning an $850 million mixed-use development near Summerlin.

The Village at Queensridge, at Rampart Boulevard and Alta Drive, will total 700,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and office space, as well as 340 condominiums on 29 acres.

Executive Home Builders broke ground on the infrastructure in November, with a scheduled completion date of the entire project in 2008.

"It's distinct - we're bringing the city to Las Vegas," said Eli Applebaum, executive vice president of Executive Home Builders. "This will be a true gathering place for people."

Executive Home Builders is now under construction with its One Queensridge Place, a condominium development across the street from the planned Village, with units priced between $1.3 million to $20 million.

Pitching the ambitious Village at Queensridge project to the commercial real estate community was in full swing this week during the International Council of Shopping Centers convention. While the project has been talked about in the past, this was the first time the huge model had been shown publicly and an exact breakdown on the scope of the project has been given.

There will be 18 separate buildings, of which there will be two 5-story condominium buildings and a 10-story condominium tower. An additional 42 condominiums will be built in the heart of the village above retail space. The project is approved for a total of 340 condominums.

"At end of the day we might have a few less by virtue of the final design," said Frank Pankratz, president of Executive Home Builders.

While sales haven't started, interest has been strong, Pankratz said. Reservations are expected to begin late this summer.

Of the total building space being developed, there will be 250,000 square feet of office space, another 350,000 square feet of retail space and 100,000 square feet devoted to restaurants. There will be some surface parking, but the majority will be below ground.

No tenants were announced during ICSC.

The project is being built on one of the last remaining infill pieces of land in Peccole Ranch. It is near Boca Park and other higher-end retail stores that serve the neighborhood and Summerlin.

Applebaum said the proximity of existing retail to the project, and the planned Summerlin Centre, will not hurt his development.

He said the immediate area's demographics - some of the highest in the valley - along with the overall growing number of wealthy people in Southern Nevada, only creates more demand.

"There's enough to go around," Applebaum said.

What Applebaum and his partners are hoping to develop is a project that stands the test of time and creates a place where people want to be.

The architecture for the Village at Queensridge will be built around an old-European town that has aged and grown over the years. The project includes buildings that are reminiscent of coliseums and Spanish villages. "Ruins" also will be incorporated into the site along with statues and stonework.

Guillermo Lopez, vice president of the Development Design Group Inc., described the project as "eclectic."

"The tiles, the colors, everything will bring about the charm of an old town of Europe," he said.

Development Design Group, along with JMA Architecture Studios, designed the project.

Mixed-use projects and how to design them, where to build them and their evolution were some of the topics of discussion at numerous sessions at ICSC this week.

"It's about creating value, of creating a place that people want to stroll through, sit on a bench and be outdoors," said Chuck Stilley president of Kansas City-based AMC Realty Inc., during one of the panel discussions.

Ian Thomas, ICSC trustee and chairman of Thomas Consultants Inc., said true mixed use, one that incorporates retail, office and residential is a morphing of ideas and a blurring of uses.

The evolution of mixed-use centers really began as lifestyle centers, a grouping of upscale stores, located near affluent neighborhoods. According to ICSC, they have to be open air and include at least one tenant that takes up 50,000 square feet to space.

Over time, the popularity of these types of centers, among shoppers, retailers and developers evolved into much more complicated developments that includes residential and office, in addition to the high-end retailers.

One of the newest types of mixed-use centers to emerge is the "urban grid" - large projects in either urban or suburban locations that attempt to create the feeling of an urban city.

"We are studying this very carefully; the scale is bigger, there is so much energy but yet it is so quaint and peaceful," said Josh Poag, chief financial officer of Memphis, Tenn.-based Poag & McEwe Lifestyle Centers LLC.

One thing is clear to industry experts - mixed-use is here to stay and is especially evident in the Las Vegas Valley.

In addition to the Village at Queensridge, Town Square (a Turnberry Associates, Centra joint venture) is under construction at the intersections of Interstates 15 and 215 and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Other projects, such as the Curve in the southwest Las Vegas Valley, have had to suspend sales of residential units and step back to reassess their plans.
Jennifer Shubinski covers real estate and development for In Business Las Vegas and its sister publication, the Las Vegas Sun. She can be reached at (702) 259-8832 or by e-mail at js@lasvegassun.com.
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  #293  
Old Posted May 27, 2006, 7:29 PM
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LV central

Ok, I like the model for LV central but the original renderings were far too cool not to be dissapointed by the new design.
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  #294  
Old Posted May 28, 2006, 1:52 AM
MsuMix MsuMix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegasrain84
I too share the excitement over CityCenter, this is my favorite project, and the largest most expensive planned project EVER in North America.


However, I'm not exactly sure what the cranes at CityCenter actually mean.. My guess is that they are doing site prep work.. Utility Relocation, drilling for underground parking structures and also for preparation to pour the foundations.. I personally would wait to change the status until A) we see a foundation being poured, or B) we see news that it has officially broken ground.. Also because of the size of this project we dont know all the details of how many towers it will include, how many phases are going under construction and which buildings are included in each phase.. Estimates range from 6 to 10 buildings in several stages.. Last I heard there were 3 stages, the first being the main hotel towers and the main entrance area.. Still have no idea what the final design is, and the official height puts the tallest building at I believe is 600 feet from the county planning commission.

Still a lot of details to be worked out, and I want to see a statement from MGM MIRAGE on the status of CityCenter, which I would assume will be coming out within a couple of days to a couple of weeks..

The site is separated into 3 blocks; A,B,C, The project is officially still in 'preconstruction' as many drawings aren't finalized.
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  #295  
Old Posted May 31, 2006, 2:57 AM
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Quote:
Designing for Dough
Matthew Miller, 06.05.06
Forbes.com


Casino bosses want you to gamble plenty and spread your bucks around their shops, shows and suites. The Soon-to-be-built Montreaux resort on the Vegas strip is designed to max out dollars spent by each visitor.

Separating gamblers from their money has become more science than art.

Architect Paul Steelman can't wait for the detonator charges to go off. In December Steelman's employer, billionaire Phillip Ruffin, will implode the dark and dirty New Frontier casino in Las Vegas to make way for a monster replacement Steelman is designing. Called the Montreux, due to open in early 2009, it's a 2,750-room Swiss-lakefront-themed hotel with a 104,000-square-foot casino, a massive shopping mall, an array of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and a 465-foot-tall observation wheel, similar to the London Eye, that scoops riders from the floor above the casino.

Ruffin bought the New Frontier for $325 million in 1998. Today it's worth perhaps $1 billion, but the 41-acre property makes only $18 million in annual operating cash flow, one of the lousiest performers in town. Steve Wynn's new place across the street made $293 million in the 11 months after it opened in April 2005.

With dreams of drawing the free-spending masses his neighbor attracts, Ruffin hired Steelman as his architect in 2004. Steelman is wiser than most when it comes to the logistics of moving gamblers through sin dens.

He worked on Wynn's Mirage (MGM: NYSE - news - people ), which, when it opened in 1989, became the first Strip hotel to emphasize eating and entertainment as well as crap tables. Steelman brought American casino innovations to Asia in 2004 with the Sands Macao, a $240 million project that went from blueprint to opening in 600 days. That casino made back owner Sheldon Adelson's entire investment in its first year, thanks in part to Steelman's bright, airy design.

Steelman has, over the last 20 years, come up with 70-odd design rules to keep visitors in a gleeful state as they evenly spread their dollars among betting tables, shops, theaters and restaurants. His Paul Steelman Design Group made $35 million in sales last year designing or refurbishing 50 casino projects around the world. Owners come to him for a philosophy that blends a feel for how to appeal to people's baser instincts with psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. "Confusion creates worry," Steelman says. "Worry creates doubt. Doubt brings less empowerment. The less empowered gambler won't spend much." Mirrors are bad, too. They can shatter the illusion that you're James Bond.

Back in the heyday of the Flamingo, Tropicana and Desert Inn, moguls enticed gamblers with free rooms and cheap buffets--and then left them isolated at tables with no distractions. The casinos were dark, cluttered and hard to get out of. Keep a customer stuck, the thinking went, and he'll play until he's out of money. Gambling made up more than 90% of revenue.

Now most new Vegas Strip resorts earn more than half of revenue from nongambling activities: shops, theaters, restaurants and trade shows. With Montreux Steelman plans to push the noncasino receipts even higher. The Montreux casino floor will represent only 2% of the resort's area, retail 9%. (Most space will go to hotel rooms.)

The Montreux's casino and retail zones will dovetail to induce visitors to gamble, take a short two-minute walk, perhaps have a drink at a bar, then start spending again in the shops. The retail area will open right onto the Strip in order to encourage walk-in traffic. That is rather ordinary anywhere else in the country but something of a novel idea in Las Vegas.

Steelman has also designed a sleek ballroom that can be transformed in under two hours. Hold a fashion show in the morning, a poker tournament in the afternoon and a boxing match at night. The ideal length for any spectacle in a casino is less than 90 minutes--otherwise, he says, "you are dipping into time people would use spending money in other parts of the casino."

Ruffin plans to build Montreux on the cheap side, "cheap" being a relative term in Vegas, budgeting $1.9 billion for construction, compared with Wynn Las Vegas' $2.7 billion. Ruffin is raising $400 million from bonds, $1.5 billion from bank loans. No equity for the public. Steelman came up with a plan to use only 85 types of building materials. Every door, wall and piece of molding will be similar throughout.

Ruffin also wants to price his hotel rooms at $200 a night, 30% lower than Wynn's average room rate, but still generate a similar or better return on his investment as the Wynn. Ruffin forecasts $290 million a year in pretax profits after Montreux opens. At that rate he'll be earning 15% annually. The Wynn returned 11% in its first 11 months.

Steelman's next designs to go up will be the Four Seasons hotel adjacent to Adelson's new Venetian Macao, and a new resort at Connecticut's Foxwoods, already the largest casino in the world.
http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2006/0605/062a.html



Last edited by future29; May 31, 2006 at 3:06 AM.
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  #296  
Old Posted May 31, 2006, 4:10 AM
ukmichael27 ukmichael27 is offline
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Great plan for the Montreux, though the main tower looks like a tall version of the Bellagio
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Old Posted May 31, 2006, 6:32 AM
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Yeah, they really have to start getting more original. It looks a lot like the Bellagio, and even a bit like the Palazzo in massing and the base.
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  #298  
Old Posted May 31, 2006, 8:03 PM
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While we all love new resorts, and hope they build this, the design is rather mundane. The tower is many have said looks to Bellagioish, but what bothers me more is the base. Maybe they could have put a bigger courtyard area (like fashion show mall's) for tourists to mingle around in instead of what seems to be just lining the street front with a straight line of shops.

I hope the Ferris Wheel will make up for this.

Interior is nice however.

Now for something that for you guys will be no surprise...

Las Ramblas is Dead

Quote:
Related's Las Ramblas project is kaput
Talks concerning real estate are heating up with W Hotel co-developer
BY TONY ILLIA
BUSINESS PRESS

Rumors have plagued Las Ramblas, the celebrity-backed mega-project along the Harmon Corridor, ever since it was first announced 10 months ago. More recently, speculation about the project's future has become a popular parlor game at local happy hours and dinner parties. Alas, it now appears that the ambitious $3 billion hotel-condo-casino complex is all but dead.

Developers Related Las Vegas and Centra Properties are reportedly in talks to sell the project's real estate for an unspecified price. The deal is expected to close within the next two weeks. The 25-acre site is located along Harmon Avenue, between Paradise and Koval roads, just west of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Centra, a project partner, spent $85 million assembling the various parcels of land that included the 996-unit Harbor Island apartments and 14 surrounding quadplexes, totaling 56 units. The deal took 14 months to complete at a cost of $3.4 million per acre. But that was more than a year ago. The site today could sell for significantly more. The Hard Rock, for example, recently sold for $770 million, or $19.2 million an acre, to Morgans Hotel Group.
When it first went on the drawing board, Las Ramblas was a "can't-miss" condo project. Ten months later, it's nothing but a memory.

The buyer is likely The Edge Group, say insiders. The firm is currently co-developing the $2.5 billion, 4,000-unit W Hotel, Casino & Residences at the northeast corner of Harmon and Koval, just west of the Las Ramblas site.

Edge Group spokeswoman Maggie Feldman refused comment on the possible purchase, but said, "We are big believers in the Harmon Corridor and its future."

IT HAD IT ALL

So what went wrong with Las Ramblas? It seemingly had it all: An experienced development team with Related and Centra; a glossy architectural design by Miami-based Arquitectonica; splashy interiors from Philippe Starck; and a celebrity backer in movie star George Clooney, who was a project investor at one point. Rande Gerber, meanwhile, was tapped to design and operate a series of nightclubs, restaurants and lounges inside the development. Plans called for 4,400 hotel, condo and condo-hotel units in 11 high-rise towers, with a 40,000-square-foot casino, shops, a spa and various eateries.

But Las Ramblas was too big and costly, and came at a time when rival projects were being planned nearby, say industry observers. Condo buyers have also since become more savvy about investing in high-rise projects. Last year's condo euphoria has worn off and many speculators have since left town, leaving fewer, albeit more serious, buyers.

"We cautioned our clients about the project from the very beginning," said Bruce Hiatt, owner of Luxury Realty Group, a high-rise real estate firm. "The Las Ramblas concept and idea was beautiful, but it was too dense with 11 towers sandwiched between Hard Rock and the W. And it had no views of the Strip."

Las Ramblas marks the third failed Vegas project by Related. The company's efforts as master-plan developer of downtown's Union Park and Icon Las Vegas similarly fizzled out, leaving its local future in doubt.

The project's miscues have surprised many considering Related's high profile as a national real estate player, with such projects as Manhattan's $2.2 billion Time Warner Center and the 72-acre CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Fla., to its credit. Its foray into the Las Vegas market suggested a new level of local development maturity.

OVERLY CONFIDENT

Yet, Related may have been overly cocksure of its ability to wheel and deal in Las Vegas, foregoing the market studies and due diligence most developers undertake before entering a new market. Las Vegas is still considered a small real estate market in national terms, despite its rapid growth. Related, by contrast, is jointly headquartered in Miami and New York, two major metropolitan cities where it enjoys a high level of community influence and political power. It may have expected a similar reception in Las Vegas.

"The national perception is that Las Vegas is a third tier real estate market with unsophisticated developers and easy entry," said one industry observer. "Related came here overly confident of their experience and track record, and figured government officials would cater to them. They were going to show everyone how development was done, but they didn't do their homework."

Related first ran into trouble with downtown's Union Park. The firm was tapped as master-plan developer of the 61-acre parcel bound by Grand Central Parkway, Bonneville Avenue and the Union Pacific railroad tracks. After spending roughly $1.5 million pursuing the deal, including a $500,000 good-faith deposit, Related and the city called it off 10 months later. A jointly issued statement cited "skyrocketing construction costs, high land-sale prices and more competition throughout the Valley," as reasons for not being able to work together, but insiders say Related was trying to upstage Mayor Oscar Goodman as the project's developer -- a definite no-no. Goodman is downtown's top cheerleader. And he views the area's renaissance as his political legacy.

Related suffered its second blow last year with the cancellation of its Icon Las Vegas project on Convention Center Drive, just east of the Strip. Plans called for two, 48-story luxury condo towers combining for 514 units. Related, once again, blamed skyrocketing construction costs as reason for the cancellation. A lawsuit filed by Lorenzo Doumani, who planned a competing high-rise nearby, resulted in a six-month delay that caused a gulf between sale prices and construction costs.

CONSTRUCTION COST EXCUSE

"Blaming rising construction costs is the only excuse that is being used for high-rise cancellations. It worked well the first time, and everyone has used it since. It's only explanation that's being offered," said Rod Martin, vice president of Majestic Realty Co., a Las Vegas development firm. "Rising construction costs are nothing new. The increases have been occurring in the marketplace for some time. Experienced developers know better and budget the rate of inflation into the project."

Related may additionally suffer from internal conflicts over its entry into the Las Vegas market. Company Co-Chairman Jorge Perez has been less than enthusiastic about Related's presence in Las Vegas, placing him at odds with Marty Burger, the company Las Vegas division president, said sources. Related, as such, is currently "assessing" its future in Las Vegas, said the source.

"I think they came into the market as a big player from Miami and New York, and figured they could call all the shots," said one real estate observer. "But the casino industry is the big player in town. They may have miscalculated their influence and negotiating ability to broker better construction deals."
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  #299  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2006, 9:54 PM
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Patrick Patrick is offline
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ugh I really liked that project too ^

can someone check the agendas and give a short review so I can add some info to the diagrams?
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  #300  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2006, 3:08 PM
drobar drobar is offline
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montreaux

This hotel/casino is ugly. Let's hope this is going to be heavily redesigned. It is a complete rip off of the Bellagio. There is no originality in the design.
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