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Historic Westside casino-resort developer seeks time to revise project

Updated November 14, 2023 - 3:51 pm

It could be another few months before the city of Las Vegas formally considers the entitlements for the Westside casino-resort project.

The Las Vegas Planning Commission had scheduled a public hearing on the proposed 34-story Westside project, formerly called Harlem Nights, at its meeting on Tuesday night. But the developer behind the project proposed for the northwest corner of Jackson Avenue and F Street has asked for a delay in consideration for about 60 days.

City planning staff had recommended denying the project for several reasons, including saying a high-rise casino project is out of character for the Jackson Avenue area, where the tallest building is seven stories. The developer also is seeking to include a massage parlor in the hotel, and the city says the project is too close to a church to allow that type of business.

In its redevelopment plans for the Historic Westside, the city of Las Vegas is calling for the area to be focused on residential and smaller-scale projects.

“The plan calls for positive street life generators, such as interactive shopfronts, cafes, bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, corner stores, a boutique hotel, or small music venues,” city staff wrote in the application packet for the Westside project. “These types of businesses should be unique to the Historic Westside reactivating Jackson Street as a landmark destination. … Staff finds that the proposed development is out of scale with this big move.”

The developer of the project, Shlomo Meiri, is still intending to move forward, project consultant Lisa Mayo-DeRiso said, and the delay was sought to see if any changes could be made to gain more support from the city and the surrounding community.

This isn’t the first time the project has been delayed before the Planning Commission. It was first delayed in April when it was proposed to be 60 stories. The hotel was later downsized to 34 stories to comply with a study conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration, which indicated a taller building would disrupt aviation operations.

The project has drawn mixed reactions from the Historic Westside community since it was first announced. Meiri has said the project could be the “anchor” for the Historic Westside and could spur economic growth for the area, which is less than 2 miles from downtown Las Vegas.

But community members have said the project is out of character for the Historic Westside and could hurt the everyday life of residents in the area.

Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear, who represents the area where the Westside project would be developed, declined to share his opinion on the proposed project.

“The project is still going through the development process at the city of Las Vegas,” he said in an email. “The developer has had many extensions of time, and the City Council will take up the item when and if the developer moves forward.”

The developers are asking Westside project to be considered again at a January Planning Commission meeting.

Fire at project site

In addition to getting through the entitlement process the developer has had to deal with an Oct. 15 fire that tore through the vacant building on the site of the project.

The fire didn’t cause any injuries, and the cause is under investigation, according to the Las Vegas Fire Department.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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