LAS VEGAS-The developer of the $2-billion Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino has tapped locally based Robert K. Futterman & Associates to lease up the development’s 300,000 sf of retail space. The space, which fronts Las Vegas Boulevard and sits adjacent to the Bellagio, is one of the largest third-party leasing assignments on the Strip.

RKF executive vice president Frank Volk tells he expects no problem leasing up the space long before the project is completed in 2008. “The opportunity to have exposure to 45 million visitors inside a vertically integrated mixed-use property is attractive to any retailer,” he says. “There are a lot of folks who are not in the market yet and a cadre of tenants who will expand in the market as well. We’re focusing more on tenants new to the marketplace.”

The Cosmopolitan will have 3,000 hotel and condominium units, a 75,000 sf casino, an 1,800-seat theater, 150,000 sf of meeting space, a 3,800-space underground parking garage and a five-acre “beach club.” The glass-walled retail space will stretch 1,500 feet along Las Vegas Boulevard. The three-level space is slated to house 45 to 50 retail stores and boutique tenants in 140,000 sf. The remaining 160,000 sf has been set aside for a dozen or so restaurants and lounges, and a nightclub. Volk declined to discuss asking rents, but local sources say ground-level retail space on the Strip is in the high $100s- to low $200s per sf on an annualized basis.

“We’ve brought [RKF] in to put together a retail mix that is a lofty, unique, fashion-forward mix that [it] has historically proven it can pull off,” says Ian Bruce Eichner, chairman and chief executive officer of 3700 Associates LLC, the developer of the Cosmopolitan.

Eichner’s non-traditional approach of placing stores and restaurants at the threshold of the development creates numerous signage and exposure opportunities, says Volk. “It is a unique piece of real estate that provides for an individual, hand-selected retail mix… .,” he says.

RKF’s other Vegas assignments include the one-million-sf Town Square for the developers of Turnberry. The firm also has the leasing assignment for the 40,000 sf of retail space within the Sky Las Vegas condominium tower, where a single tenant is taking down the entire ground-floor space. All told, the Las Vegas office of RKF is responsible for over three million sf of retail space. Other RKF clients include the Related Cos. L.P., Vornado Realty Trust, Hines, Tishman Speyer Properties and Citibank.

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