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LAS VEGAS-MGM Mirage’s board or directors has signed off on a plan to create a multi-billion dollar master-planned development on the Las Vegas Strip. The 66-acre site is to be developed in phases, with the first phase expected to include a 4,000-room casino-hotel, three 400-room boutique hotels, 550,000-sf of retail, dining and entertainment facilities and 1,650 units of for-sale housing, including luxury, hotel-condo and timeshare components.The design and permitting phase is expected to take an additional 18 months to complete. The construction of the first phase of the complex will take approximately 42 months with an opening anticipated in 2010. MGM says it will partner with residential developers, hotel operators and retailers in financing and operating the project. The first phase is expected to create 7,000 construction jobs followed by 12,000 permanent positions. Further phases are envisioned over time on contiguous company-owned land. Bobby Baldwin, chief executives of Mirage Resorts, will oversee the development, which has been dubbed Project CityCenter. MGM Mirage chief executive Terry Lanni says his company’s acreage between Bellagio and Monte Carlo represents “the most compelling development opportunity in Las Vegas, and possibly the country.” He adds that recently announced redevelopment plans for Downtown and the University’s vision of ‘Midtown UNLV,’ a cultural district surrounding the campus, “perfectly complement [the] plans for our ‘uptown’ site.”MGM engaged three urban planning firms to create competing master plans for the site. After an eight-month process, the board selected the master plan design of Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut and Kuhn Architects, a New York-based firm known for master planning both Battery Park City in New York City and the Baltimore Inner Harbor East in Maryland.

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