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Gaming Guru

Hubble Smith

Las Vegas Strip Projects Unveiled

2 September 2004

LAS VEGAS -- A group of developers filed a land-use application with Clark County for a condominium-hotel project on the Strip at Harmon Avenue and unveiled details Wednesday.

Plans call for two 53-story towers with 2,400 condominium, time-share and hotel rooms, 300,000 square feet of entertainment and retail space, 180,000 square feet of convention and meeting space and 70,000 square feet of casino space.

Developers are requesting limited variations of zone ordinances for such things as building height and setback requirements from the street. The proposed height is about 600 feet.

David Friedman, a former executive at The Venetian, formed 3700 Associates earlier this year with SFM Capital Management, an affiliate of New York-based Soros Fund Management, and Ian Bruce Eichner, a real estate developer in Miami and New York.

They bought 8 1/2 acres south of Bellagio, next to the Harmon overpass, for $90 million from a company managed by former Frontier owner Margaret Elardi.

"Since announcing our plans in April, we've spent the past months creating a unique design that not only complements the offerings and attractions of our neighbors, but signals a new era of vertical, urban development on the Strip," Friedman said in a company statement.

The property, which wraps around the Jockey Club, has 400 feet of Strip frontage and 1,100 feet along Harmon, and will encompass 4 million square feet of development.

The project is estimated to cost $1 billion by the time it opens in late 2007 or early 2008.

Condominiums will come with upscale appointments and amenities such as flat-screen televisions, VIP access to the Beach Club and on-site restaurants.

It's among several high-rise condo projects proposed in Las Vegas, part of an evolution toward a more densely populated urban core driven by skyrocketing land prices.

Houston developer Randall Davis has begun construction of the Metropolis on Desert Inn Road near Paradise Road, and Florida developer Chis Del Guidice is expected to begin site work in about two weeks on Vegas Grand at Flamingo Road and Swenson Street.

Panorama Towers on Industrial Road, The Platinum on Flamingo and Majestic on the Strip are also in various planning stages.

The Algiers, built in 1953, is closing Friday to make way for the proposed 45-story, 568-unit Krystle Sands condominium-hotel.

The project, which received zoning approval from the Clark County Commission in April for a 510-foot tower, is planned for 3.6 acres on the Strip at Riviera Boulevard.

JMA Architects designed the tower; Perini Building is the general contractor.

Krystle Sands offers four models, priced from $500,000 to more than $800,000, with penthouse units at $1 million and up.

Another high-end project in the works is The Residences at MGM Grand, a joint venture between MGM Mirage and Turnberry Associates, the Aventura, Fla.-based developer of Turnberry Place. Construction on the first of potentially three 40-story towers is expected to begin next week on land formerly occupied by MGM's Grand Adventure theme park.

"We see Las Vegas as a market with huge potential and we wholeheartedly agree with many of the recent comments concerning the need for a more vertical, urbanized approach to architectural design," Friedman said.