Las Vegas Sun

December 14, 2018

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Santa Fe says connection depends on Galleria expansion

The developer of a hotel-casino that was to be attached to the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson has withdrawn a request for two variances that would have led to the connection.

But a representative of the proposed Santa Fe Valley hotel-casino said plans to link the two properties aren't dead -- just delayed.

"We decided to move forward with the Galleria project, however, the connection is predicated on the expansion of the existing mall, including two new anchor stores," said Andrew Klebanow, Santa Fe vice president of marketing.

The Culinary Union, which represents workers at the Santa Fe but is in the midst of a contract dispute with the company, issued a news release this morning saying the publicly traded company "withdrew long-touted plans" to connect its property, which would include an ice rink and a bowling alley, with the mall.

A representative of the mall was unavailable for comment this morning.

Klebanow said his company drafted an agreement with the operators of the mall to connect the two properties, spelling out details of how the two properties would connect, an exchange of land and issues related to architecture.

He added that while the variance has been withdrawn, plans to connect the two properties are still alive, but "we want to get open, get operating and let our new employees experience opening a new property."

The City of Henderson's planning director said the company never submitted plans for connecting the mall to the hotel-casino.

Planning Director Mary Kay Peck said an application requesting a waiver to allow a 147-foot tower was reviewed by the city's planning commission and recommended for approval to the Henderson City Council, which will review the matter Tuesday.

Peck said the stand-alone project required a parking study, which was completed and reviewed by commissioners Thursday.

Klebanow said if the city approves plans, ground will be broken on the project in May. He would not comment on the status of financing for the $125 million, 300-room project.

The Culinary Union has battled with Santa Fe management to unionize the company's property in northwest Las Vegas. The union has garnered community opposition to the plan to connect the mall with hotel-casino.

"We have collected over 2,500 cards from Henderson residents who do not want a casino in their neighborhood mall," said Courtney Alexander, research director for the Culinary. "The attachment to the mall was the cornerstone of Santa Fe's casino plan in Henderson. Without this connection, it is basically the same project which the company has tried to develop unsuccessfully for four years at this site."

Klebanow said the union's announcement that plans have been withdrawn are inaccurate but that "we've dealt with these inaccuracies for years now."

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