Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004 | 11:22 a.m.
Clark County approved another high-rise condominium project for the resort corridor on the Strip Wednesday, this one the third in a triplet of towers planned for a project at Harmon Road and Industrial Avenue.
The 500-foot, 35-story tower would be the third in the Panorama Towers project already under construction by Las Vegas-based Sasson Hallier Development. Chris Yergensen, Panorama Towers vice president and general counsel, said construction on the first of the three towers is already under way. Work on the second tower should begin in January 2005 and construction on the third is slated for six months later, he said.
Jay Brown, a Las Vegas attorney who represented the developer before the Clark County Commission, withdrew several waivers that had prompted recommendations for denial from the Clark County staff and the Paradise Town Advisory Board. He said the project needed only a zone change and a permit for the height to go forward.
"We believe these requests are consistent with recent actions by the board" of county commissioners, Brown said.
Commissioner Lynette Boggs McDonald, who represents the area, motioned for approval, and the zoning and permit passed 6-0.
Yergensen said the third tower would be slightly smaller than the first two towers, with 250 condominium units versus 350 for the first two.
The Panorama Towers project is only one of many planned for the Strip and throughout the urban area. Planners in Las Vegas and Clark County say they have received proposals for at least 50 projects and at least 80 separate towers.
Another project proposed for Spring Valley, at Maule Avenue west of Buffalo Drive, was held on Wednesday's commission zoning agenda. Greg Borgel, a land-use consultant representing Tower Homes LLC on the proposed trio of 360-foot, 130-unit towers, said the developer asked for the delay to work out height concerns expressed by the Clark County Aviation Department.
The aviation department, which runs McCarran International Airport, has been one of the few agencies to put brakes on the rush for high rises in and near the Strip. Planners in the department are concerned that buildings in some locations could impede aircraft landing and taking off from the airport.
Yergensen said despite the thousands of condominium units planned in the high-rise construction boom, Panorama Towers has an advantage because construction has already started. He noted that high rises have "huge up-front costs" compared with other kinds of residential development, a factor that may make some of the projects fail to get off the ground.
"There's no doubt there's a lot of them, but I think a lot are speculative," he said.
According to the Panorama Towers Web site, the first 700 condominium units of the first two towers are already sold out.