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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 12:38 AM
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Haven't seen this one here. If so, this thread can be deleted...

Las Vegas Business Press

New Strip development is really going vertical



BY ARNOLD M. KNIGHTLY

The new owner of the dormant Wet 'n Wild land has a tall order in mind for the Strip property -- a 1,888-foot-tall hotel tower.

Texas-based developer Christopher Milam wants to build a 142-story obelisk as the centerpiece of a hotel-resort-casino project, according to plans presented to the Clark County Planning Commission late last month. "It makes sense in Las Vegas," Milam explained. "A 4,000-room hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is just fine whereas, in most non-gaming markets, a 400-room hotel would be plenty large."

The structure would be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest hotel tower in the world. The 1,149-foot-high Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower, less than a mile north on Las Vegas Boulevard, is currently the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.


To realize his dream, Milam first has to surmount many regulatory hurdles. His biggest may be persuading the Federal Aviation Administration and Nellis Air Force Base that the project will not be a flight hazard.

Pending a final height-determination study by the FAA, the Planning Commission approved all the use permits and design reviews -- except for the height waiver. The full County Commission will likely review the project at its March 21, 2007 meeting.

The Texas developer may think his project, modeled on the 2,313-foot-tall Burj Dubai pinnacle, is "just fine." But it has already attracted a few powerful opponents upset about its height.

The FAA sent Milam a "Notice Of Presumed Hazard," dated Nov. 4. It began a 60-day period in which Milam must respond, or else the approval process will begin again. A typical study takes one to six months, according to the FAA, although a more complex study can take longer.


"The big problem with the proposed 1,888-foot tower is that it would punch into the airspace that airplanes use while performing instrument arrivals and departures into and out of McCarran," said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor, adding that any height exceeding 708 feet would have an adverse effect on air traffic.

Milam is currently working with Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm JDA Aviation Technology Solutions to develop a response to the FAA's notice. Once a determination becomes final, the decision would have to be appealed to FAA's Airspace & Rules Division. Clark County development code mandates that county officials cannot vary or grant waivers from the final determination of the FAA.

Attending into the wee hours of the Planning Commission meeting -- the item was not heard until after 9:30 p.m. -- was outgoing Clark County Aviation Director Randall Walker, as well as representatives from Nellis.

While Walker would only say he was there to "monitor" the issue and did not speak, his attendance was noted by one of the commissioners.

Col. Timothy Green, Nellis' mission support commander, submitted a letter from 99th Wing Commander Col. Michael Bartley asking that Clark County deny Milam's application. Describing the project as "of significant concern to Nellis," the letter said that the project could result "in a loss of critical aircrew training (and) represents an unnecessary level of risk to the long-term sustainability of Nellis AFB operations."

"You'll find that quote, that exact language, every time this issue comes up for them, whether it's a residential neighborhood close to them or a new retail center outside the base or a building on the Strip," Milam rejoined. "It's a policy they have. Nellis is never going to say, 'We love tall buildings in the valley.' That's never going to happen."

While Milam admits that the project is at the outer reaches of the base's airspace, he is said that he has been in discussions with Nellis and believes that, being eight miles from the base, that the issue can be resolved.

Even if it is, some are skeptical the project can be realized. "We've seen a lot of these out-of-towners come and go," said John Restrepo, principal of Restrepo Consulting Group, a Las Vegas real estate-research firm. "I find it difficult to believe that they can pull off a project like this unless they have financial strength, development experience and a recognizable brand."

Some are even more vehement. "We've filed a complaint with the county on this project," said Bruce Hiatt, owner of Luxury Realty Group, which specializes in high-rise real estate. "It's completely out of character with the neighborhood, and it has an immediate impact on neighboring projects such as Sky Las Vegas, Turnberry Place, and Fontainebleau.


"There are a whole host of issues that something like this creates including traffic, emergency services, parking, and obstruction of views," Hiatt lamented. "It casts extreme shadows on nearby properties. Would something of this size and scale even sell in a slowing real estate market? I don't know."

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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 12:54 AM
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quote from the second article, interview with the developer:

Quote:
As far as the height itself, Nellis AFB registers objections to the project as submitted. Also, the FAA says it's notified you of a "presumed hazard." Given those objections, how do you intend to move forward?

Those are two separate issues and we are working with both the FAA and Nellis, and have been for some months. With respect to Nellis, they have a general policy of opposing tall buildings, for obvious reasons, but it's an issue that can be resolved.

As far as the FAA is concerned, any building over 200 feet tall within a five-mile radius of McCarran is determined by regulation to be a hazard to air navigation. So every hotel on the Strip is a Part 77 obstruction, technically. That's why they issued the DNH. Everybody gets issued a DNH. We're in the middle of the process to determine if the building does present a hazard and -- if it does -- how to make it not. We have a consultant in Washington who's working directly with the FAA.

So you're taking it to the top?

No, we're actually working from the bottom up, which is the way you do it. But we haven't yet responded to the obstruction finding because we're doing our homework and then we'll respond formally to the FAA.

So is the 1,888-foot height non-negotiable?

We think that will ultimately be found to not be a hazard and that's where we wanted to be. The reason is that makes it the tallest building in the U.S. The next-tallest building is the Freedom Tower in New York, which was World Trade (Center), which is 1,776 (feet). They're locked into that number for obvious reasons. You don't build a building this tall and make it a little shorter than the one they just built. That's not a good approach to marketing, if you will.
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 2:03 AM
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  #4  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 2:12 AM
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the thing looks hideous in my mind, i would hate to see that thing everytime i fly out to vegas, being 4-6 times a year. Lets hope they redesign this 1.
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 4:03 AM
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It should not be an obstruction..it is close to the Stratosphere and that is over 1100 feet tall anyways. Build it Vegas!!!! If it would fit in anywhere it would be in Las Vegas. I bet it would end up being spectacular.
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 4:09 AM
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Quote:
"It's completely out of character with the neighborhood
WTF? Quote of the day...

The title should be "Milam Tower"
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 4:24 AM
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In my opinion, it is completely in character for the "neighborhood", which is why I hate the damn thing.
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  #8  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 5:20 AM
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What's "modeled on the Burj Dubai" about it? I don't see the resemblance...
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 5:58 AM
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It does bear some resemblence to Al Burj (which used to be called the "Pinnacle")
Quote:
modeled on the 2,313-foot-tall Burj Dubai pinnacle
Just a thought. But since they said Burj Dubai, I don't know how they see a resemblance.
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 6:26 AM
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1. I need more renders to make a judgement but on the whole it doesn't look too exciting.

2. Quote from the first article- "Some are even more vehement. "We've filed a complaint with the county on this project," said Bruce Hiatt, owner of Luxury Realty Group, which specializes in high-rise real estate. "It's completely out of character with the neighborhood, and it has an immediate impact on neighboring projects such as Sky Las Vegas, Turnberry Place, and Fontainebleau." Are you fuckin kidding me. Out of character, its the vegas strip. thats one of the only places on earth where that argument holds no water.

3. Isn't about time they realized that maybe McCarren has outlived its usefulness in its current position. They should relocate to a larger area farther away from the strip. What, they don't have the money? Can you imagine the paycheck the city will receive if they sell that huge swath of ultra prime real estate that is right on the strip and the literally the size of an airport. make financial sense to me. and would encourage more growth in Las Vegas
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 6:35 AM
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  #12  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 6:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolCzech
What's "modeled on the Burj Dubai" about it? I don't see the resemblance...
I guess they both have a tri-petal base design
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 7:14 AM
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Nice design, but I'd rather see it at around 1200 feet.
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 7:18 AM
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is it a west coast thing?

what is with you people vegas is getting a tower close too 2,000 ft tall and all i see is alot of negativity c'mon,get mad if you want to and give your cheesy perentages but this is the new GEM of vegas baby.....
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  #15  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 7:18 AM
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All I have to say is, 1888' in Vegas? Interesting, very interesting...
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 7:23 AM
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the first thing i thought when i saw this design was Dubai! not burj dubai in particular, it just has sort of a dubaiesque look to it. Either way its huge, so bring it on!
     
     
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 8:08 AM
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If this is approved, then they should go ahead and allow the Stratosphere tower to proceed with their proposed extension.

     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 8:10 AM
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The height: awesome! Hope this works out for Vegas, though my gut says this building has a slim chance...

The design: blah. I really hope this one gets a redesign, but keeps the height.
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 2:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlas
But since they said Burj Dubai, I don't know how they see a resemblance.
I guess based on the layout...



Very similar, though I don't see why they couldn't be more original.

Quote:
So is the 1,888-foot height non-negotiable?

We think that will ultimately be found to not be a hazard and that's where we wanted to be. The reason is that makes it the tallest building in the U.S. The next-tallest building is the Freedom Tower in New York, which was World Trade (Center), which is 1,776 (feet). They're locked into that number for obvious reasons. You don't build a building this tall and make it a little shorter than the one they just built. That's not a good approach to marketing, if you will.
Also, if they wanted to top Freedom Tower, why not just make it an even 2,000 ft? Though I think this tower has little chance of getting built, its not a surprising proposal. I've always thought of Dubai as an oversized Vegas, so its fitting Vegas tries on Dubai for once.
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 2:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK Chicago
The title should be "Milam Tower"
That would make more sense, though I took the title from this graphic...

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NEW YORK. World's capital.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
     
     
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