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LAS VEGAS-Veteran local casino-resort builder M.J. Dean Construction will be the general contractor of the 3,000-unit W Las Vegas Hotel, Casino and Residences. The 24-acre near-Strip development by Edge Resorts LLC and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. will rise where the Ice nightclub currently sits at Harmon Avenue and Koval Lane, one block east of the Aladdin Resort and Casino.

A source with W Hotels tells GlobeSt.com that the August 2005 estimations for cost, number of units and completion–$1.7 billion, 3,000 and 2008–have been pushed up, up and back, respectively. The new estimates are that the development will cost $2.5 billion, break ground in 2007, have 4,000 rooms and be complete sometime in 2009.

The increased cost is being attributed to the acquisition of additional land, construction of the additional hotel rooms and a general increase in the cost of building materials. The source declined to discuss plans for construction financing or the expected pre-sale hurdle to obtain said financing.

W Las Vegas is slated to include an undetermined mix of hotel, hotel-condo and pure residential units. For-sale unit sizes will range from 500 sf to 3,000 sf. Pricing for the smallest units will start at $550,000, or $1,100 per sf. Amenities will include 10 restaurants, bars, lounges and nightclubs; 300,000 sf of meeting space; a 75,000-sf casino; a full-service spa; a theater and show venue, and an undetermined amount of retail space. Notable names reserving residences at the W Las Vegas include Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra, Anne Heche, Ahman Green of the Green Bay Packers, Paris Hilton and poker pro Phil Hellmuth.

M.J. Dean has managed the development of some 18 hotel-casino projects, including Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, LUXOR, Circus Circus, and Hard Rock. The firm also has on its resume high-rise for-sale residential developments such as Sky Las Vegas and the Panorama Towers. A company executive did not return a Monday morning phone call seeking comment.

Edge Resorts owns 75% of the development joint venture and Starwood owns the remainder. Edge Resorts is owned by Edge Group LLC, a development and investment company formed in 2004 by principals Trevor Pearlman, Reagan Silber and Adam Frank. Starwood Hotel and Resorts is a New York-based public company that owns, operates and franchises several hundred hotels and resorts under a variety of brands including St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin and W.

The announcement of the project’s general contractor and designers–Klai Juba Architects (Las Vegas), Lacina Heitler Architects (New York) and Charles Allem Designs (Los Angeles)–comes three months after the developers secured $232.5 million in pre-development financing. The funding, in the form of $195-million first-lien loan and a $37.5-million second-lien loan, was provided by a syndicate of investment banks led by Generale Corporate & Investment Banking. Utility installation work has begun at the site and the $5-million 7,500-sf on-site sales center is nearing completion. The cost of the land for the development was $108 million

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