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LAS VEGAS-If it can meet the increased equity requirements of today’s lenders, EL AD IDB Las Vegas LLC appears ready to move forward with its $6-billion development slated for 34.5 acres across Las Vegas Boulevard from Wynn Las Vegas. The project received approvals for its site development plan and special use permit this week from the Clark County Commission.

EL AD IDB Las Vegas LLC is a joint venture between Elad Properties, a New York-based subsidiary of Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva’s El-Ad Group, and Property & Building Corp., a subsidiary of Israeli-based IDB Holdings Corp. The partnership says design completion and the start of the excavation is scheduled to occur before the end of the year.

Published reports recently have speculated that the project may be delayed due to the dislocated credit markets. Elad Properties did not respond to a request for comment, but El-Ad Group president Miki Naftali has refuted those reports, saying the project is moving forward. The would-be development on the former site of the New Frontier hotel and casino is slated to include seven high-rise towers housing 4,100 hotel rooms; 2,600 condominium units; 175,900 sf of gaming; 480,000 sf of retail and restaurant space; 539,607 sf of convention space; a 50,000 sf health club; a 1,500-seat theater; and 227,038-sf of recreation space for pools and other amenities atop a mid-rise podium.

The financial markets aren’t the only issues EL AD IDB Las Vegas has had to contend with regarding its massive project. Two lawsuits are in play, one by longtime local resort broker David Atwell of Resort Properties of America, who is suing Elad for a commission on the $1.24-billion sale of the development site, and another by Tamares Las Vegas Properties LLC, the owner of the historic Downtown Plaza Hotel & Casino, which is attempting to prevent Elad from using the Plaza name for its project.

The El-Ad Group, founded in 1992, develops, owns and operates real estate primarily in the United States, Canada and in Asia. In addition to Plaza Las Vegas, it is known in the US for its $675 million acquisition and renovation of the historic Plaza property in New York City in 2004. IDB is Israel’s largest business group, recording total revenues of $12 billion in 2007 on total assets of $26 billion and $34 billion of assets under management.

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