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LAS VEGAS-The latest mini-city mixed-use project for the Las Vegas Valley is City Crossing, a $2-billion development located 10 miles south of the Strip, near Henderson Executive Airport and the planned M Resort. The phased 126-acre project by locally based Plise Cos. is slated to include 600,000-sf of retail, 1.5 million sf of class A office and 2,500 residential units built around 17 acres of parks, trails and other public spaces.

Albeit bigger than both, the project is modeled after Keirland Commons in Scottsdale, AZ and Santana Row in San Jose, CA. John Field of Plise tells GlobeSt.com that site grading and infrastructure work is underway and that vertical construction will begin in fall 2008.

The $500-million, 30-acre first phase, slated to open in fall 2009, will include all of the office, 100,000-sf of retail, 180 residential units and a 160-room boutique hotel. Eight lenders are providing the construction financing, he says. The entire development is expected to be completed by 2014.

The endeavor is the most ambitious ever attempted by Plise, a locally based full-service real estate development firm with two million sf under its belt and an additional three million sf under construction. Its ongoing projects include Rainbow Sunset Pavilion, a three-phase project between Summerlin and Green Valley that includes 452,000-sf of office space and 95,000 sf of retail (including restaurants), and Centennial Corporate Center, an office-retail development adjacent to Painted Desert Golf Course that includes 125,952 sf of class A office space, a three-story parking garage and 17,000 sf of service retail. “Mixed use is the future,” Field says.

The overall retail plan for City Crossing includes 27 buildings, all located off Executive Airport Drive. Stand-alone restaurants will occupy nine buildings and five more buildings will have restaurants filling half the space, for a total of 80,000 sf of restaurant space. Specialty retail is slated to occupy 70,000 sf in six buildings and another 62,000 sf is earmarked for service retail.

In addition, home furnishings retailers are expected to fill 33,000 sf in two buildings, a 19,500-sf building is slated for an electronics store and a 50,000-sf building will hold a multi-screen theater. The first phase will include all of the service retail, as well as one of the stand-alone restaurants and a bank branch.

“If you can bring it to market quicker (than the competition) you have a competitive advantage,” Field says. “There is a shallow pool of retailers of this class to draw from.”

Plise is one of several companies that have large mixed-use projects in the pipeline in the Vegas Valley. The most similar in size and mix of uses is Summerlin Centre, which bills itself as the 100-acre future “downtown” of Summerlin, a sprawling master-planned community on the western rim of the Las Vegas Valley.

Slated to rise northeast of the intersection of the 215 Beltway and Sahara Avenue, the 100-acre future “downtown” of the 25,000-acre master-planned development will include 1.4 million sf of retail shopping and dining, 5,500 housing units, a 250-room four-star hotel and at least one million sf of office space. Additional residential development will occur on 300 adjoining acres that already is host to the new Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. Nordstrom and Crate & Barrel have already signed on to anchor the retail portion and are slated to open prior to the 2009 holiday shopping season.

There also are more vertical communities being planned on smaller footprints. The largest of those is the Great Mall of Las Vegas, a 1.57 million-sf development with eight acres of open space that includes the first enclosed shopping center to be constructed in the Las Vegas Valley in more than two decades. Triple Five Nevada is developing the $800 million complex on just under 50 acres at the northeast corner of Grand Montecito Parkway and Deer Springs Way, adjacent to I-95 on the northwest edge of the valley.

The three-level enclosed mall will have 250 stores and shops on the first two levels. It will be co-anchored by a Regal Cinema and two unnamed major retailers. The third level of the mall will house 100,000 sf of office space and 40 restaurants including a food court. On the residential front, development plans also call for 900 units, about 800 of which will be housed in twin 200-foot-tall residential buildings. The remaining units will be above street-level retail on several out-buildings.

James Grindstaff, Triple Five’s vice president of planning, tells GlobeSt.com that infrastructure work will begin this July, followed by vertical construction toward the end of 2008. The retail and mixed-use portions of the project are slated for completion in the second half of 2009 or early 2010. Residents are expected to begin moving into the residential towers in late 2011 or early 2012. The long lead time is due to the long list of infrastructure work, which includes relocating water and sewer lines, and improving a half-mile stretch of Grand Montecito Parkway.

Back in Summerlin, locally based Executive Home Builders is developing Village at Queensridge, an $850-million development on 30 acres. Located adjacent to the Suncoast Hotel & Casino, the 1.35 million-sf endeavor will include 340 luxury residential units and 700,000 sf of retail, restaurant and office space in 18 mixed-use buildings ranging from one to 10 stories. The Village is just now coming out of the ground. The first phase of the 30-acre development is slated for completion in late 2008. Adjacent to the site, EHB is winding up development of One Queensridge Place, which comprises 219 condominiums in two 18-story towers.

In the southwest corner of the valley, locally based Gemstone Development is looking to break ground next month for Manhattan West, a $330-million mixed-use development with 700 condos, 150,000 sf of office space and 50,000 sf of retail. The 20-acre development site is located along the south side of West Russell Road, between Interstate 215 and South Fort Apache Road. Gemstone acquired the properties in July 2006 in three separate transactions totaling Construction financing has not yet been secured. Condo sales begin later this month adjacent to the site. The first buildings are slated for completion in mid-2008; build-out is slated for mid-2009.

Designed around six acres of open space, the 1.2 million-sf development plan is anchored by a nine-story tower that will contain 74 upscale residences and the development’s two-floor clubhouse, a top-floor lounge and a roof deck. Complementing that will be 11 four-story, wood-framed buildings with Manhattan-inspired building names such as Tribeca House, Roosevelt House, Gramercy House, Astoria House and Beakman House. The five-building first phase is slated to go vertical the third quarter. ManhattanWest is expected to open in the third quarter of 2008 and reach build-out by mid-2009.

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