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Clooney project is sold

Edge Resorts plans boutique hotel district at Las Ramblas site


The 25-acre Las Ramblas project on Harmon Avenue has been sold to Las Vegas-based developer Edge Resorts for $202 million, an executive said Sunday.

Las Ramblas, a joint venture between Las Vegas-based Centra Properties and The Related Cos. of Florida, was announced in early 2005 as a $3 billion mixed-use project that would include 4,000 condo-hotel units, upscale shopping and restaurants.


Centra and Related paid $75 million for the property, currently the site of the Harbor Island apartments.

Actor George Clooney and nightclub owner Rande Gerber were brought on as partners to help make Las Ramblas a hip destination in Las Vegas, strategically located between the Hard Rock hotel and the new W Las Vegas hotel being developed by Starwood Worldwide and Edge Resorts.

Adam Frank, principal of Edge Resorts, said the new project, known as Edge East, will be developed as a complementary master plan to the W Las Vegas hotel.

"The idea is to have smaller hotels, boutique hotels, with a central casino," Frank said. "The concept is similar to the meat-packing district in New York or South Beach in Florida where you have this critical mass of contemporary, upscale hotels. It creates an enviroment that's different from what's in Las Vegas now."

Frank said it's too early to tell what the mix of condominiums and condo-hotel units will be, but he knows there's strong demand for condo-hotel product in Las Vegas. The first phase of units at W Las Vegas is 200 percent reserved, he said.

He said everyone was excited when some $20 billion of development was announced for the Harmon corridor last year, stretching from the Hard Rock expansion on the east to the Palms expansion on the west.

"Now we can really control the destiny of what gets built there," Frank said. "If you look at the access to all 50 acres, it's incredible. We've talked to a lot of hotel brands who want to be in Las Vegas."

Las Ramblas was rumored to be in trouble earlier this year when Related canceled plans to build the twin Icon Towers on Convention Center Drive.

Marty Burger, president of Related Las Vegas, denied reports at the time that Las Ramblas was "DOA" after Icon was canceled.

"Bottom line, look at whose projects are on the books here and who has the experience in getting it done," Burger told the Review-Journal.

Burger would not discuss details of the sale Sunday.

"It would be easy to say the project failed," Frank said. "The truth is they had a lot of options for that property. They could have held out. They could have developed it themselves. Ultimately, the best use was to have one developer."



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