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Old September 1st, 2006, 01:42 AM   #1
mdiederi
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LAS VEGAS | Project CityCenter | 600ft | 60 fl | Com

Most expensive privately funded construction project in U.S. History.





http://www.citycenter.com/

Developer - MGM/Mirage
Project name - Project CityCenter
Budget - $7 billion
Floor space - 18 million square feet
Design phase - 20 months
Executive construction manager - Tishman Construction Corp.
Construction start - June 26, 2006
Opening - 2009

Architects:
Cesar Pelli
Rafael Vinoly
Lord Foster
James KM Cheng
HKS Architects, Inc.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

This will NOT be a themed resort.

Phase One:
Two 600 foot high towers with a total of 4,100 hotel rooms and a 155,000 square foot casino, designed by Cesar Pelli. The resort also includes a 3-story, 565,000 square foot convention center, a 2,000 seat theater, back-of-house areas, offices, two parking garages, one of which is a 13 level parking structure and the other a subterranean garage.

Phase Two:
A 585 foot spiral shaped condominium tower with 120 units designed by architect James KM Cheng.

A 585 foot high hotel/condo tower with 1,050 units with a striking curved design. A significant portion of the second upper half of the tower will curve in the opposite direction than the lower and appears to be supported by a single column standing out near the front. It will be designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects.

Phase Three:
Mandarin Oriental Hotel - A 37 story (568ft) tall building with a unique stair stepped design. It will include 310 spacious guestrooms and 90 luxuriously appointed suites for a total of 400 units. There will be a variety of dining and cocktail venues, as well as 32,000-square-foot spa. It will be run by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

The Lifestyle Hotel - A 548 foot high hotel tower in a slim oval design with 400 rooms. The tower will be located prominently at the corner of the CityCenter property and is to be designed by Architect Foster and Partners.

Sobella Shopping Center - Located between the above two hotels, this low rise complex is depicted as a dynamic, mixed use center, with giant media screens as well as space for high end stores such as Prada, Chanel and Gucci. Plenty of green space was originally incorporated into it, but such elements are now missing from current renderings.

Future Phases:
Four condo towers to be built along the back of the property. It is assumed they will be built after the third phase is complete.


Early conceptual renderings:











Latest renderings released after construction started:





































The 13 story parking garage is already built, I think Bellagio employees are using it.

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Old September 1st, 2006, 02:00 PM   #2
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WOW I AM GOBSMACKED.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 03:32 PM   #3
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^ has this started construction???? otherwise is in the wrong forum...
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Love Is In The Air !


I Love NY
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Old September 1st, 2006, 09:02 PM   #4
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- edit

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Old September 1st, 2006, 09:07 PM   #5
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7,000 construction jobs, 12,000 permanent jobs when completed.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 09:29 PM   #6
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Here's the Boardwalk Hotel being imploded last May, to make room.


Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oASHTpbTeUw

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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:19 PM   #7
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http://www.projectcitycenter.com/

http://dsnet.co.clark.nv.us/dsnetapp...a/P0166576.htm

02/09/06 PC AGENDA SHEET

RESORT HOTEL/RESORT las vegas blvd s/harmon ave

CONDOMINIUMS

(TITLE 30)

PUBLIC HEARING

APP. NUMBER/OWNER/DESCRIPTION OF REQUEST

UC-0013-06 BELLAGIO LLC ET AL:

USE PERMITS for the following: 1) a 16,797,000 square foot resort hotel consisting of a maximum of 62 story, resort hotel/casino with of 4,100 rooms; 2) 2,290 resort and hotel condominiums; 3) public areas including all casino areas, showrooms, live entertainment areas, shopping center areas, indoor and outdoor dining areas, offices, meeting and convention areas, back-of-house areas, and parking garages/structures; 4) kitchens within the rooms; 5) associated accessory and incidental commercial uses, buildings, structures, and other uses; 6) increase the height of the high-rise towers; and 7) deviations from development standards.

DEVIATIONS for the following: 1) reduce the height setback ratio adjacent to an arterial street (Las Vegas Boulevard South); 2) reduce on-site parking requirements; 3) reduce loading areas; 4) encroachment into airspace; and 5) all other deviations as shown on plans in file.

WAIVERS OF DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS for the following: 1) reduce the front setbacks along Las Vegas Boulevard South; 2) reduce the side setbacks along Harmon Avenue; and 3) reduce setbacks from rights-of-way for decorative fences/barricades, architectural features, porte cochere, and a private on-site people mover system (tram).

DESIGN REVIEWS for the following: 1) a resort hotel; 2) resort condominium towers; 3) 800 hotel rooms within two boutique hotel towers; 4) hotel condominiums; 5) shopping center areas; 6) high-rise resort hotel, resort condominium, hotel condominium, and hotel towers with associated mid-rise and low rise buildings; 7) private on-site people-mover system (tram) with stations; 8) pedestrian bridges; and 9) all other accessory and incidental buildings and structures on 76.0 acres in an H-1 (Limited Resort and Apartment) Zone within the MUD-1 Overlay District.

Generally located on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard South, the north and south sides of Harmon Avenue and east of Frank Sinatra Drive within Paradise. RR/lo/ka

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

RELATED INFORMATION:

APN:

162-20-501-005; 162-20-603-010 thru 012; 162-20-701-004 thru 006, 017, 019, 021, & 022

USE PERMITS:

1. Permit a maximum 62 story, 4,100 rooms resort hotel/casino.

2. Permit 1,240 resort condominiums units within 4 high-rise towers.

3. Permit all public areas including casino areas, showrooms, live entertainment areas, shopping center areas, indoor and outdoor dining areas, offices, meeting and convention areas, back-of-house areas, and parking garages/structures.

4. Permit kitchens within the rooms;

5. Permit all associated accessory and incidental commercial uses, buildings, structures, and other incidental land uses.

6. a. Increase the height of the high-rise resort hotel towers up to a maximum of 600 feet where 100 feet is the standard height.

b. Increase the height of the high-rise resort condominium towers up to 585 feet where 100 feet is the standard height.

c. Increase the height of the high-rise hotel towers (two boutique hotels) up to 548 feet where 100 feet is the standard height.

d. Increase the height of all other mid-rise buildings ranging from over 100 feet up to 200 feet where 100 feet is the standard height.

7. Permit all other deviations from development standards.

DEVIATIONS:

1. Reduce the height setback ratio for a high-rise tower adjacent to an arterial street (Las Vegas Boulevard South) to 52 feet where a 186 foot setback is required (a 72% reduction) (at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard South and Harmon Avenue).

2. Reduce on-site parking requirements to 11,817 parking spaces where 13,903 parking spaces are required (a 15 % reduction).

3. Reduce the number of loading areas to 39 to where 183 loading areas are required (a 76.7% reduction).

4. Permit an encroachment into the airspace.

5. Permit all other deviations as shown per plans in file.

WAIVERS OF DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS:

1. Reduce the front setback to decorative fences/pedestrian barricades and architectural features along Las Vegas Las Vegas Boulevard South to zero feet where 10 foot setbacks are required (a 100% reduction).

2. Reduce the side setback to decorative fences/pedestrian barricades and architectural features along Harmon Avenue to zero feet where 10 foot setbacks are required (a 100% reduction).

3. a. Reduce the setbacks from rights-of-way for decorative fences/barricades, and architectural features along Las Vegas Boulevard South to zero feet where 10 foot setbacks are required (a 100% reduction).

b. Reduce the required setbacks from a right-of-way for a porte cochere within the airspace of Harmon Avenue to zero feet where 10 foot setbacks are required (a 100% reduction).

c. Permit the two level Harmon Place porte cochere with pool deck within the airspace of the Harmon Avenue right-of-way where not permitted.

d. Reduce the required setbacks from a right-of-way for a private on-site people mover system (tram) crossing Harmon Avenue to zero feet where a 10 foot setback is required (100% reduction).

MASTER PLAN/LAND USE GUIDE:

WINCHESTER/PARADISE - COMMERCIAL TOURIST

BACKGROUND:

Overall Project Description

The plans depict a proposed project consisting of a total of approximately 16,797,000 square feet and 7,190 hotel rooms and resort and hotel condominium units. This project is known as Project Citycenter. The elements of the overall project includes a 600 foot high resort hotel/casino consisting of a total of 4,100 hotel rooms, a 155,000 square foot casino, 800 hotel rooms (within two boutique hotel towers), 1,240 resort condominium units, 1,050 hotel condominiums units within a number of high-rise towers, a 596,000 square foot shopping center all with associated accessory and incidental uses. The project as proposed is divided into three blocks designated as Blocks A, B and C. The 3 blocks represent the proposed phasing of the development.

Primary access to the site is from Las Vegas Boulevard South via a central boulevard designated as Casino Circle located adjacent to eastern boundary of the project. Additional access points are shown along Harmon Avenue located on the north side of the site and include a two level porte cochere located within the airspace of the Harmon Avenue right-of-way and will be known as Harmon Place. Secondary access mainly for employees and vendors is show along Frank Sinatra Drive located on the west side of the site. Harmon Place is designed as a 2 level porte cochere with a pool deck that connects the portions the north and south sides of the project. Pedestrian realms varying in width from 20 feet to 50 feet are provided along Las Vegas Boulevard. Harmon Avenue and the central entry boulevard Casino Circle have a pedestrian realm of 15 feet to 25. A minimum of 15 feet is provided along Frank Sinatra Drive. A total of 21.7 acres of open space is provided including the pedestrian realm, passive and active open space areas and recreational areas including pools and other amenities required for the resort hotel and provided for the resort and hotel condominium developments.

Elevation plans depict that each of the blocks have unique architectural features that are anchored by a high-rise tower or towers and specific used designed by world renown architects. A total of 13,903 parking spaces are required for the project, however, a 15% reduction in parking is requested to allow 11,817 parking spaces. The applicant plans to provide 13,272 parking spaces which is actually a 4.5% reduction in parking. The parking provided is located within 6 structures distributed throughout the site. Pedestrian bridges designed as a curved X shape connects the project to the 3 other corners of Las Vegas Boulevard South and Harmon Avenue. Another pedestrian bridge is depicted on the east side of the project across Casino Circle connecting the northeastern and southeastern portions of the project. An internal private people mover (tram) system with stations connects Citycenter with the existing Monte Carlo and New York, New York Resorts to the south and the Bellagio Resort to the north across Harmon Avenue. Pedestrian connectivity is shown throughout the site. A final determination for final height of the project issued by the Federal Aviation Administration was submitted with the application.

BLOCK A

This is the proposed first phase of the project located east of Frank Sinatra Drive and south of Harmon Avenue and is a portion of the south 65 acres of the site. Block A will consist of 10,345,000 square feet including the resort hotel with 155,000 square feet of casino area, a 3 story, 565,000 convention center, a 2,000 seat theater, back-of-house areas, offices, two parking garages, one of which is a 13 level parking structure and a one subterranean garage located underneath the casino level.

Elevation plans depict that the resort hotel consists of two, 600 foot high towers with a combined podium up to a height of 280 feet. The north tower consists of 43 levels and the south tower is 48 levels. Building materials consist of concrete columns and panels, glass curtain wall systems, stainless steel accents, and natural stone. The parking structure will be constructed with painted concrete panels. Floor plans depict standard size hotel rooms as well as 2, 3 bedrooms, and penthouse units with varying sizes.

BLOCK B

This block is also a portion of the first phase of the project, located on the north side of Harmon Avenue and is connected to the Block A by the 2 level Harmon Place porte cochere and consists of 11 acres. This area consists of 1,460,000 square feet with a total of 2,860 hotel and resort condominium units within 2, high-rise towers and associated open space and recreational areas. The resort condominium tower is 585 foot high with 120 units, and the hotel condominium tower is 585 foot high with 1,050 units. A shopping center area consisting of 17,000 square feet and accessory with incidental uses designed to support this portion of the project is incorporated into the tower buildings. Parking for this block will be provided within a portion of a parking structure currently under construction known as the Bellagio Employee Garage.

Elevation plans depict that the high-rise hotel condominium is a curved to replicate the shape of the 2 level Harmon Place design. The resort condominium tower is designed as a spiral tower. Building materials consist of concrete columns and panels, glass curtain wall systems, stainless steel accents and natural stone. The parking structure will be constructed with painted concrete panels. Floor plans depict 2 and 3 bedrooms and penthouse units with varying sizes.

BLOCK C

The subject block is a portion of the south 65 acres of the site, located on the eastern portion of the site along Las Vegas Boulevard South and east of Block A. The area consists of 4,992,000 square feet including two high-rise hotel towers, 596,000 square feet of shopping areas, and associated and incidental offices and support areas. This area is framed by two, 548 foot high hotel towers consisting of 400 rooms each. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is at the south end and Lifestyle Hotel is on the north end at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard South and Harmon Avenue. A total of 1,620 resort condo units are proposed within the block, distributed within each hotel tower and mid-rise buildings above the shopping center known as Sobella. Parking for this block is provided by an 8 level parking structure located south of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and a one level subterranean parking structure underneath the shopping center.

Elevation plans indicate that the hotel towers are intended to represent leaning towers constructed with concrete and steel columns and panels with glass curtain wall systems. The Life Style Hotel is a curved structure that frames the major intersection of the project (Las Vegas Boulevard South and Harmon Avenue). The 8 level parking structure will be constructed with painted concrete panels. Floor plans depict standard size hotel rooms as well as 2, 3 bedrooms and penthouse units with varying sizes. The central portion of this block is the low to mid-rise Sobella shopping area with resort condominiums located above and currently under architectural design; however, the setbacks are established by this application. Subsequent land use applications are required for the final design of this area.

The existing 1,900 parking spaces within the Monte Carlo garage will be replaced within a new parking structure constructed in conjunction with Citycenter. When the Monte Carlo parking structure is demolished the parking for the resort will be provided in the Bellagio Employee garage that is under construction. The remaining parking will be provided at surface parking areas. When the entire project is completed, parking for the Monte Carlo will accommodated within two parking structures within the project.

Prior Land Use Requests

This proposed project site is currently developed with a number of commercial tourist land uses including the Boardwalk Resort Hotel that closed recently, The Seven Nigh-club building, other commercial building, surface parking areas and the existing Monte Carlo parking garage. These listed, buildings, structures uses will be demolished to accommodate the project.

Surrounding Zoning and Land Use

The project is surrounded on the north, east, and south sides by developed and undeveloped H-1 zoned properties. To the north across Harmon Avenue are portions of the Bellagio Resort Hotel and the approved Cosmopolitan Resort Hotel (UC-1575-04). To the south are portions of the Monte Carlo Resort hotel, surface parking areas, and an office building that is currently under construction. East across Las Vegas Boulevard South are developments including the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood Resort, the Hawaiian Market shopping, the Harley Davidson restaurant and other commercial buildings. To the west is Interstate15, farther west of which are four approved U-V zoned mixed-use high-rise towers currently under construction (Panorama Towers I, II III & IV), and developed M-1 zoned industrial properties.

STANDARDS FOR APPROVAL:

The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed request meets the goals and purposes of Title 30.

Analysis

Current Planning

This project is appropriate and compatible with other resort hotel developments in the area and the The Las Vegas Strip. The project will enhance this portion of the resort corridor by providing one integrated development from New York, New York to the south and Bellagio to the north. Staff can support the proposed reduction to the height setback ratio along Las Vegas Boulevard South because the encroachment requested is at the higher levels of the high-rise tower and will not impact pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Additionally, the low and mid-rise buildings along the street frontage do comply with the required setbacks. However, since the curved Lifestyle Hotel tower is located at a major intersection of the site the pedestrian realm and building setbacks at the intersection of Harmon and Las Vegas Boulevard South should be increased to 50 feet or more to create a plaza area in front of the high-rise tower. The pedestrian realm along Harmon Avenue should also be increased to accommodate pedestrian at that side of the project.

Staff has no objection to the waivers to reduce setbacks for the pedestrian barricades since the design of the project provides pedestrian realms along the street frontages (Las Vegas Boulevard South and Harmon Avenue) that are wide enough to accommodate pedestrians. The barricades provide an additional safety element and enhance the street frontage. The typical reduction in parking approved for developments within the resort corridor ranges from 12% to 30%; therefore, the requested 15 % reduction is lower than the typical approvals for other resort hotel projects. Therefore, staff has no objection to the request. Considering future plans for a fixed guide-way system along Frank Sinatra Drive to serve the resort corridor adequate area should be reserved on the project site to accommodated future stations or stops.

Department of Aviation

Due to the height of the proposed building, the development will penetrate the 100:1 notification airspace surface and or the Part 77 airspace surface. Therefore, the Board of County Commissioners may delay action on this land-use application until a valid FAA airspace determination has been received and the Department of Aviation has had an opportunity to review the determination. The property lies just outside the 1997 AE-60 (60-65 DNL) noise contour for the McCarran International Airport, and is subject to potentially significant aircraft noise. Future demand for air travel and airport operations is expected to increase significantly. Clark County intends to continue to upgrade the McCarran International Airport facilities to meet future air traffic demand.

Staff Recommendation

Approval. This is a Project of Regional Significance and will be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners on March 8, 2006 for final action.

If this request is approved, the Board and/or Commission finds that the application is consistent with the standards and purpose enumerated in the Comprehensive Plan, Title 30, and/or the Nevada Revised Statutes.

PRELIMINARY STAFF CONDITIONS:

Current Planning

1. Record a perpetual cross access, ingress/egress, and parking easements if portions of the project is under different ownership and or corporate entities;

2. Pedestrian realm per plans on file along Las Vegas Boulevard South;

3. A 50 foot minimum setback from the right-of-way at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South to create an open plaza area at the intersection;

4. Providing complementing architectural details, features, colors, and elements on all sides of the buildings adjacent to the street frontages and internal driveways throughout the site including parking structures;

5. Providing a minimum of 20 feet of pedestrian realm along Frank Sinatra Drive and Harmon Avenue;

6. Design review as a public hearing for portions of the project with no specific architectural design plans (e.g. Block C and any portions of Blocks A and Block B):

7. Design review as a public hearing for any significant changes to the approved plans on file;

8. A Development Agreement as agreed upon by the applicant to mitigate and address issues identified in the Public Facilities Needs Assessment (PFNA) and Technical Studies/Reports;

9. Reserve areas for stations on the project site along Frank Sinatra Drive for any future fixed-guideway transit systems;

10. Providing proof of parking areas for the Monte Carlo Resort during construction of the project;

11. All applicable standard conditions for this application type.

12. Applicant is advised that the project shall comply with requirements of Title 30.64.060 (Water Features); approval of this use permit only approves any relaxed standards that depart from the development and improvement standards required by Title 30 provided such relaxed standards completely comply with the approved plans on file; approval of this application does not constitute or imply approval of a liquor or gaming license or any other County issued permits, licenses, or approvals; any change in circumstances or regulations may be justification for the denial of an extension of time; and that this application must commence within 2 years of approval date or it will expire.

Civil Engineering

1. Traffic study and compliance;

2. Traffic study to also address present and proposed traffic operations along Las Vegas Boulevard South, Harmon Avenue, and Frank Sinatra within the study area;

3. Traffic analysis shall include, if applicable: a) access management on Harmon Avenue, b) traffic signal coordination, c) turn lane and through lane storage, d) queue lengths, e) roadway spacing, f) driveway spacing, g) traffic signal spacing, and h) existing and anticipated operational and safety issues and recommended mitigation measures;

4. Traffic study to also include simulation using Vissim simulation program to include all (existing and proposed) signals along Frank Sinatra Drive frontage, the Harmon Avenue frontage from Frank Sinatra Drive to Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas Boulevard South at Harmon Avenue, the signal immediately south of this intersection and any signals within one-half mile of the described perimeter;

5. Dedicate rights-of-ways and grant easements and/or construct improvements as required by the accepted traffic study;

6. Traffic study to also include the evaluation of: a) traffic control needs and the determination of contributory shares of future traffic control devises, costs, and measures, b) evaluation of access and circulation patterns proposed, c) evaluation of roadway capacities present and future with compliance, d) pedestrian safety needs, e) determination of lane configuration at proposed access points necessary to accommodate projected traffic volumes, f) turnover analysis for the porte-cocheres and recommendation of mitigation measures as applicable, g) impacts to regional air quality due to traffic generated by this development, and h) identification and implementation of Traffic Demand Management (TDM) and Transportation System Management (TSM) measures;

7. Traffic study to include traffic impact mitigation plant to be reviewed by the staffs of the Clark County Regional Transportation Commission, Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation (FAST), Clark County Traffic Management Division, and Clark County Civil Engineering Division;

8. Physical improvements identified in the traffic study needed to accommodate vehicular and pedestrian volumes generated by the project may require right-of-way dedication to the County;

9. Right-of-way dedication and grant easements to include the following but are not limited to: a) an eastbound exclusive right turn lane on Harmon Avenue, from the raised porte-cochere above that street, to Las Vegas Boulevard South, b) dual westbound left turn lanes and an exclusive eastbound right turn lane, for the proposed signalized main entrance on Harmon Avenue serving the project, c) exclusive northbound right turn lanes for each proposed signalized intersection on Frank Sinatra Drive, d) northbound dual left turn lanes and a southbound exclusive right turn lane, for the proposed signalized intersection on Las Vegas Boulevard South;

10. Right-of-way dedication and/or grant easements for dual southbound left turn lanes for any signalized intersection on Frank Sinatra Drive if the Master Transportation Study, a) estimates the peak hour volume of southbound left turners will exceed 300, or b) the estimated amount of left turn storage will be inadequate, or c) the projected LOS at the intersection will be E or lower with a single left turn lane, but will be D or higher with dual left turn lanes;

11. The proposed signalized intersection on Las Vegas Boulevard South shall be coordinated with the project located on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard South;

12. Traffic study to also address the dedication and construction of bus turn-outs, including passenger loading/shelter areas, and bus pull outs along the projects Las Vegas Boulevard South, Harmon Avenue, and Frank Sinatra Drive frontages as required and in accordance with Regional Transportation Commission standards;

13. Sign a License and Maintenance Agreement for any non-standard improvements within the right-of-way improvements within the right-of-way;

14. Unobstructed pedestrian walkway width on Las Vegas Boulevard South and along Harmon Avenue from the proposed Harmon Place porte-cochere to Las Vegas Boulevard South to be a minimum of 10 effective feet or greater to satisfy a minimum Level of Service C requirements during peak periods, all walkway segments must have a minimum Level of Service C under peak pedestrian volumes, if sidewalk does not abut back of curb or in meandering in design, and lies outside of the dedicated right-of-way, grant necessary pedestrian access easement;

15. Grant necessary easements to Clark County for traffic facilities, appurtenances, and pedestrian use of sidewalks for any sidewalk outside of the right-of-way and execute agreements requiring the developer to maintain sidewalks and be responsible for any liability relating to the sidewalks and hold Clark County harmless;

16. Drainage study and compliance;

17. Construct full off-sites;

18. All existing driveways not being used to be reconstructed with full off-sites;

19. Corridor for the Regional Fixed Guideway along Frank Sinatra Drive as required by Regional Transportation Commission;

20. All applicable vacations to be recordable prior to building permit issuance and/or applicable map submittal.

Department of Aviation

1. No building permits shall be released for the project prior to the Department of Aviation notifying Zoning Plan Check that the applicant has received all necessary airspace approvals;

2. Applicant is required to file a valid Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 7460-1, "Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration" with the FAA in accordance with 14 CFR Part 77;

3. Alternatively, the applicant may submit to the Director of Aviation a "Property Owner's Shielding Determination Statement" and request written concurrence from the Department of Aviation;

4. Applicant must also receive either a permit from the Director of Aviation or a variance from the Airport Hazard Areas Board of Adjustment (AHABA) prior to construction as required by Section 30.48.120 of the Clark County Unified Development Code.

5. Applicant is advised that the FAA's determination is advisory in nature and does not guarantee the Director's permit or an AHABA variance will be approved; at a standard condition of approval for a Director's permit or an AHABA variance is the granting of an avigation easement; issuing a stand-alone noise disclosure statement to the purchaser or renter of each residential unit in the proposed development and to forward the completed and recorded noise disclosure statements to the Department of Aviation's Noise Office is strongly encouraged; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will no longer approve remedial noise mitigation measures for incompatible development impacted by aircraft operations which was constructed after October 1, 1998; and that funds will not be available in the future should the residents wish to have their homes purchased or have the units soundproofed.

TAB/CAC:

APPROVALS:

PROTESTS:

APPLICANT: Project CityCenter

CONTACT: Greg Borgel, 300 South 4th Street #1500, Las Vegas, NV 89101
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Old September 5th, 2006, 11:22 PM   #8
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July 30, 2006

Architects leaning toward Strip skies in Las Vegas

By Liz Benston <[email protected]>
Las Vegas Sun

Towers to serve as CityCenter gateway

In a city of whimsical designs - think pyramid, castle and New York skyline - two leaning, curving high-rise towers seem destined to emerge as an architectural icon in Las Vegas.

All they've got to do now is build them - no slam-dunk because of their unique design .

The towers will house 810 loftlike condominiums, soaring 36 stories above Las Vegas Boulevard and prominently serving as the gateway to MGM Mirage's $7 billion CityCenter.

MGM Mirage revealed the final design of CityCenter a month ago to plenty of murmuring, most of it directed at what some real estate folk were calling "the leaning towers of Las Vegas."

The towers are the creation of German-born architect Helmut Jahn, known for sleek, ultramodern exteriors and unusual shapes. His Murphy/Jahn firm in Chicago built the seven-building Sony Center in Berlin and the United Airlines terminal at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

In order to plan CityCenter, the nation's most expensive private construction project and its largest collaboration of name-brand architects, MGM Mirage split the project into three components, with the final piece - the retail and condominium area - coming together more recently.

About a year ago the company initiated an international design competition and selected Jahn's firm to work alongside Studio Libeskind, the creator of the retail center, and Rockwell Group, which is designing the pedestrian areas.

MGM Mirage bought into the leaning tower design to create the kind of bold look the company wanted as a visual gateway into CityCenter.

"The angling creates a sense of motion" as well as more openness and light, said Tony Dennis, executive vice president of CityCenter's residential division.

They appear to stand in parallel fashion from a north-south perspective, with the lean obvious from an east-west perspective. Most passers-by will view the buildings from the skewed perspective.

MGM Mirage asked for the most creative and challenging designs architects could cook up. The company didn't mention leaning towers.

"It wouldn't make sense for us to shoehorn them into a certain look," Dennis said. "These (designers) are the best in their respective fields. These designs are forward-thinking. We are trying to capture the imagination of the city."

The unusual design is just one of several aspects of the project that run counter to conventional Las Vegas rules. The main casino-hotel, for instance, will sit behind the condo towers without the typical Stripfront location or dramatic landscaping of tropical plants, water fountains or statuary. And the hotel tower will be shaped as an elongated S, not the more-efficient Y shape, for dramatic effect.

Pisa, Italy, is the home to the most famous leaning tower - by way of a geological quirk.

The world's first intentionally leaning towers are in Madrid, where a group of architects created twin office buildings that lean toward each other at 15-degree angles. The towers, known as Puerta de Europa, opened in 1996, triggering controversy for their bizarre, ultramodern shape.

The Murphy/Jahn towers may be one of Jahn's more creative efforts, but he's no newcomer to innovative designs.

His firm received the American Institute of Architects' Architecture Firm Award, one of the highest honors in the field. The firm is known for unusual geometric designs driven by collaborations with engineers and scientists.

One example is the pencil-shaped Messeturm office tower in Frankfurt, Germany - a striking combination of a square, circle and pyramid in contrasting materials. The building, about the same height as the TransAmerica building in San Francisco, was Europe's tallest building until 1997.

Jahn is also no stranger to controversy. The 1985 opening of his glass-enclosed State of Illinois Center in Chicago triggered complaints and lawsuits over sweltering indoor temperatures. Critics blamed the building's design; Jahn blamed the building's ventilation system.

Jahn's Las Vegas project is the latest take on a new design trend.

"In the '80s it was all about how you decorate the top of the building," said Ronnette Riley, a New York architect who heads the American Institute of Architects' design committee. "Now architects are pushing the entire form and creating complicated shapes by twisting and turning."

Such designs are possible with the help of computer software that wasn't available 10 or 20 years ago, said Riley, who worked for one of the architects who built the leaning towers in Madrid.

"This is so much more sophisticated," she said of the Las Vegas design. "I'd rather a building make a statement than be in the background. The play on geometry is going to be very exciting."

Las Vegas architect Joel Bergman, who helped design the Mirage, Treasure Island and Paris Las Vegas, among other local resorts, said the towers will make other cutting-edge designs "look tame."

In one sense the towers aren't that far removed from the themed casinos that were popular in years past, Bergman said.

"It's entertainment architecture," he said. "Buildings that twist and bend are a new kind of theme. All the architects are running out to do it to impress each other."

Architecture critic Alan Hess says CityCenter and the arrival of well-known architects like Jahn will elevate the status of Las Vegas among the highbrow world of designers but may miss the mark for the average tourist.

"As skyline icons, the two towers will grab attention for a while, but their abstract shapes won't have the lasting power of the Stardust sign, the Luxor pyramid or Excalibur's castle," said Hess, who writes for the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News and is the author of an architectural history of Las Vegas. "They don't have any lasting meaning linked to the general culture."

Out-of-town architects don't necessarily understand the dynamic of Las Vegas, which is all about luring customers with fanciful designs, Hess said.

He approved of MGM Mirage's larger strategy, however. The creation of mini-cities with multiple hotels, condos and other attractions "is the next logical step" in Las Vegas' super-sized development, Hess said.

Jahn said he welcomes the chance to ply his trade in a town that encourages the unexpected.

"I don't think we could have done this in Chicago or New York," where urban, residential construction follows a fairly conservative pattern, he said.

Las Vegas has witnessed its share of tricky designs, including the Luxor pyramid with its cantilevered hotel rooms and inclined elevators, and the Stratosphere, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

Now on the drawing board: the Lou Ruvo Alzheimer's Institute, a provocative Frank Gehry design playing off building blocks and a crumpled shell of glass-and-steel latticework.

Jahn's leaning towers appear dangerously askew - accentuated because each one will also twist along its vertical axis like a curving parallelogram - but are structurally in equilibrium, with each building's mass equally distributed on either side of its center plumb line.

The design will challenge engineers but benefit residents because their views will be less obstructed than would be in a conventional high rise, he added.

While appearing to be smooth glass from a distance, the building's skin will feature horizontal metal blades that will shade floor-to-ceiling windows from Las Vegas' notorious heat. The illuminated blades will slowly change colors.

The towers, part of nearly 3,000 residential living quarters at CityCenter, are expected to be complete by 2010.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:41 AM   #9
ZZ-II
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great project
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Old September 6th, 2006, 01:01 AM   #10
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Great stuff. Which towers in the renderings are the Pelli-designed ones currently under construction?
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Old September 6th, 2006, 03:19 AM   #11
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These are the Pelli designed towers ...

Last edited by mdiederi; October 20th, 2006 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Moved photo to different server
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Old September 6th, 2006, 03:33 AM   #12
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incredible
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Old September 6th, 2006, 03:49 AM   #13
DrT
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"Starchitects Extravaganza"!
Let's hope that the monorail expansion plans go through and get funding to service this area from the airport and allow getting around the core of town. Otherwise, we're looking at gridlocked traffic, with no subway or light rail plans.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 03:49 AM   #14
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WOW.. Amazing
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Old September 6th, 2006, 03:57 AM   #15
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wow! speechless
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Old September 6th, 2006, 04:38 AM   #16
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Wow, that is something. Vegas is definately getting huge.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 06:00 AM   #17
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Stopped by on the way home from work and got on top of the Bellagio parking garage and shot this picture of the first two floors of the Pelli towers. You can see how it kind of curves.

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Old September 6th, 2006, 09:07 AM   #18
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I was in vegas two weeks ago and I just got back I can bealive how fast theyre going with this project they already have a foundation the crews out here work day and night even on Labor day at 3 in the moring when I was about to go to bed I could hear hammers and see the welders blue light on the new Trump tower.I also think theyre going to knock down the Monte Carlo to make room for this thats maybe the reason they bought the place.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrT
"Starchitects Extravaganza"!
Let's hope that the monorail expansion plans go through and get funding to service this area from the airport and allow getting around the core of town. Otherwise, we're looking at gridlocked traffic, with no subway or light rail plans.
The monorail breaks down all the time its a ripoff $5.00 one way mate

The have the new stip bus called the deauce but I like talking the cab drivers the best lol
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Old September 6th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #20
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Yeah, the monorail gets pretty bad reviews from almost everybody, so they need to do something about that. I think the monorail mostly serves the convention visitors better than the gamblers because it runs along the back of the resorts where the convention centers are. But that's a different project than this. Project CityCenter is supposed to have a super advanced people mover thoughout the property, which would be a great idea because some of these resorts feel like you walk a mile to get from the front of the property to the back of the property where the monorail station is.
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