On the Clark County agenda for a use permit approval on January 7, 2009, is what could become the world's largest hotel if built according to the current plans. It would be larger than the 6118 room First World Hotel in Malaysia, and the proposed 6500 room Asia Asia Hotel in Dubai. The permits sought for this U-shaped Las Vegas hotel and it's 3 adjoining high-rise towers would total 6,745 rooms.
The AIG Group, formerly known as Africa Israel, is looking to build it on approximately 60 acres on Harmon Ave. It's next door to the Hard Rock Hotel and it's current expansion, and just off the Strip to the east of Planet Hollywood.
The tallest tower would top out at 520'. According to what has been presented to the county, AIG Group has already received an FAA determination of no hazard for the site. The plans submitted include 2 podium levels that would vary in height, and the buildings combined with the parking garage space would be in excess of 8.15 million square feet.
This land was the proposed site of the W Hotel that had George Clooney on board with Edge Resorts. Then a new group led by AI purchased the property in 2007 at a reported $12.5 million an acre. It has also been transferred to a new LLC ownership this past year. Since the time of purchase, they have worked on the design, as well as mapping to combine the separate parcels on the site.
Part of this submission also includes a road alignment to Howard Hughes to the north on Flamingo, and a private road that would border the neighboring Hard Rock. These would tie into the project's 6 proposed Porte Cocheres slated for the entire development.
According to a quote from an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, this project would be built in phases and probably wouldn't break ground until at least 2013. Just as with any project, good times or bad, there are no guarantees that it will be completed or as currently planned. Still, I find it interesting that they are continuing to invest in these development costs during these difficult economic times. As reported in the RJ, this is occurring even as AIG Group is selling off other real estate interests to help their balance sheets.
These approvals also come just as MGM City Center began it's hiring of 12,000, and a new $618 million purchase option agreement was inked for the former Wet n' Wild property on the Strip, up from the previous price of $475 million. It would appear there is some continued strong interest, and investment, in the future of Las Vegas.
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