Downtown Las Vegas could soon get 370 more loft-style apartments, addressing what city officials have long called a critical need in the urban core.
Councilman Bob Coffin, who lives in the area where the tower is proposed, spoke directly to some of his neighbors who opposed the plan at the council meeting.
“It’s our job to look ahead,” Coffin said. “That’s what you pay me for.”
Motel owner Ilan Gorodezki is behind the plan to develop the tower at the site of his Super 8 and Thunderbird motels on Las Vegas Boulevard South.
The vote was 5-2 in favor of the proposal, with Councilman Ricki Barlow and Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian dissenting.
Property owners in the adjacent John S. Park neighborhood, which falls within one of the city’s few historic districts, voiced concerns Wednesday about the building height, increased traffic and potential change in the character of the neighborhood.
John S. Park Neighborhood Association President Dayvid Figler said the development would mark a “sea change” for the area.
A city staff report notes that while the property falls within the John S. Park Neighborhood Plan, which recommends the neighborhood association work with city officials to impose a five-story limit for buildings along Las Vegas Boulevard, “no development standards to limit building height have ever been brought forward.”
The proposal is for a stepped back building that would tower 195 feet over Las Vegas Boulevard South, but be 88 feet high in the rear, where it would be adjacent to single-family homes. The staff report maintains that design feature “greatly reduces the visual impact” to the neighborhood.
Coffin commended Gorodezki for cleaning up the property he owns there, where previously drugs, prostitutes and used needles were among the common sights, Coffin said.
The area was “no man’s land” when Gorodezki bought the property, he said.
Gorodezki has said the the apartments would range from 500 to 1,200 square feet, with rental rates about $3 per square foot. Proposed amenities include a dog park, fitness center and a bar/lounge.
The Thunderbird Lofts would include 16,000 square feet of retail space. Architect Ed Vance suggested tenants could be businesses like Starbucks Coffee or Whole Foods.
“This is going to be a high-end district,” Vance said.
The council on Wednesday also paved the way for a new 34,000-square-foot downtown retail center with surface parking on a 3.5-acre parcel at 4th Street and Stewart Avenue downtown. The city owns the land, which is adjacent to the Mob Museum, and leases it to developer POB Las Vegas, LLC, which has proposed a new hotel tower on the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino site across Stewart Avenue in the future, city Economic Development Director Bill Arent said.
Contact Jamie Munks at email@example.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.
APARTMENT PROPOSAL DETAILS
Location: 1213 and 1215 South Las Vegas Boulevard and 516 Park Paseo
Residential: 370 apartments
Height: 15 stories, 195 feet
Retail: 16,060 square feet
Source: city of Las Vegas Planning Department report