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LAS VEGAS-With smaller near-term goals, construction is ramping up once again for Tivoli Village at Queensridge, a would-be 30-acre, 1.35-million-square-foot retail, residential and office development on the west side of the Las Vegas valley for which site work began four years ago. The project, which includes 341 units of residential, sits adjacent to the Suncoast Hotel & Casino.

Three years ago, a major subterranean garage had been built and the project was ready to go vertical and slated to be built in a single phase that would open in late 2008. Two years ago, it became a phased project, with the 700,000-square-foot first phase to be completed in 2009, consisting of 500,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in 18 buildings topped by 200,000 square feet of office space and 41 condominiums. A second phase called for an additional 300 condominiums in three buildings overlooking Angel Park Golf Course at the north end of the property.

Late last year, several months after the developer, Executive Home Builders, sold an additional stake in the project to equity partner IDB Development Corp., Israel’s leading holding company, they slowed construction in light of the souring economy so the partnership could review its options. Patrick Done, the EVP in charge of the project tells GlobeSt.com the new plan is for a 370,000-square-foot first phase to be ready for a soft opening in late 2010. The new first phase, rising at the southern end of the site, essentially consists of the amount of space for which the partnership had firm lease commitments, he says, and is being built without any financing.

“There were a number of tenants still interested and there were others who said they didn’t have the capital or were no longer interested in expansion so we had to respond to that,” Done tells GlobeSt.com, explaining that all of the leases had to be renegotiated because of the scope changes. “We are building the right amount of space for the environment and if this thing plays out as we see it we should be able to start on the remainder [of the original first phase] very close to when we open the first phase, ideally opening in time for the 2011 holiday season.”

The reason the new first phase can be open in time for the 2010 holiday season is because they had been on a fast track through most of 2008. By the time they paused late last year to revise the schedule, the steel for that portion of the project was already completed. The reason the partnership is hopeful about being able to roll right into the second phase is based in part on ongoing conversations with retailers and the close tracking of sales data.

“Sales are anticipated to be flat, maybe one- to two percent up for some, depending on the retail category. When comparable sales hit this point, we understand where the market low is,” he says. “There’s really only one way for retailers to grow earnings on consistent basis, and that’s by adding stores. Reducing expenses works in the short run but to show consistent growth, you need to expand. We’re expecting to see demand next year as the capital markets loosen up.”

With pedestrian-friendly streets with cobblestone walkways and limited above-ground parking, Tivoli Village is designed to be a destination for well-to-do “westsiders” who want good food and entertainment without having to go to the ever-crowded Strip. “Once it opens, Tivoli will fill a void in this area and act as our community’s ‘family room,’ with quaint shopping and lifestyle options in a friendly urban setting,” Done said.

Most of the leased space in the first phase is to be occupied by restaurants and entertainment venues. Names will be released in the coming weeks, Done says. Tenants listed on the development’s web site include Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas, David Barton Gym, Kidville, Ritual Salon & Spa, Mastro’s Steakhouse, Tres Agaves Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge, AG Jeans, BCBG MaxAzria, Collections by Ecco, belle grey and Martin Yan’s 9 Dragons.

The project is within the Queensridge master-planned community at the intersection of Alta and Rampart in Las Vegas, on the edge of the Summerlin master-planned community. Tivoli Village is rising on the northeast corner. The Northwest corner is home to the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. Also at the intersection is One Queensridge Place, a planned four-tower, 385-unit for-sale residential development also by EHB for which the first two towers were completed in 2007 in partnership with IBD.

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