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Feature Story - May 2007
Hospitality Construction

Paradise in the Palms

New Palms Place Grows Skyward In Las Vegas

By Tony Illia

Contractor M.J. Dean Construction is building the third tower at the Palms Casino Resort. The $350 million, 50-story concrete tower will provide almost 600 units for residences which can be rented out as hotel rooms to guests.


Palms Place, an ultra-posh new condo-hotel, is taking shape a few blocks west of the Las Vegas Strip.

The $350-million, 599-unit skyscraper is located next to the 34-acre, 664-room Palms Casino Resort at Flamingo Road and Arville Street. M.J. Dean Construction of Las Vegas, is the general contractor.

The 50-story cast-in-place concrete tower features 9-in.-thick post-tensioned floors and an elaborate glass skin. The high-rise rests atop a 5,000-cu-yd concrete mat foundation with 80, 6-ft-dia. drilled caissons from 60- to 80-ft deep. The 526-ft-tall tower has roughly 26 columns per every 18,000-sq-ft floor plate, with two supporting shear walls and a massive central elevator core. The 1.1-million-sq-ft structure is serviced by 15 elevators and a central plant.

A main porte cochere entrance enables drivers to travel under the building. A "SkyTube,"a 700-ft-long enclosed elevated moving walkway, will connect to the adjacent Palms Casino Resort.

The skyscraper rises from a five-level podium with parking, a restaurant, lounge, bar and offices. The project also includes a lavish two-level spa with 20 treatment rooms, including steam and sauna areas.

A landscaped outdoor pool deck with spas, cabanas and a fitness center tops the 60 ft-tall podium.

Residences consist of seven different floor plans, ranging from a 600-sq-ft studio up to 7,000-sq-ft penthouse. Units come fully furnished with gourmet kitchens, 42-in plasma TVs, linens and contemporary décor.

Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg is the interior designer. The high-end penthouses feature cantilevered stand-alone Jacuzzi bathtubs overlooking the Strip.

The tower joins the growing number of recent Las Vegas projects to use the condo-hotel concept, which will enable homeowners to earn income by renting out their residences to guests when not in use, just like a hotel room.

The project will bring the Palms total room inventory to 1,263.

The project proved an instant hit, selling-out quickly despite six price increases that ran from $500,000 to $7 million.

"We sold-out at an incredible pace, and we could have sold-out another tower," says Palms president George Maloof. "But we won't build another one. This is a one-of-a-kind."

Designed by The Jerde Partnership, Venice, Calif., with Las Vegas-based KGA Architecture as architect-of-record, Palms Place is fully sheathed in emerald-colored, custom-cut Vericon glass - a contract worth $30-million.

The building has a unique saw-tooth façade with setbacks to create private glass and aluminum railing balconies at every level.

No two floor edges are the same, says Bryan Cowart, M.J. Dean's project manager. It has required laser surveying of each floor by Loscha Engineering, the project's Las Vegas-based structural engineer, to make certain the building stayed in alignment during construction. Despite this, M.J. Dean has maintained a floor-a-week erection schedule through pre-construction planning and flying forms.

"It's the first residential tower at the Palms so we wanted to have a unique feeling," says Coco Zhou, Jerde's project designer. "By having it all glass, it creates a very vertical tower that glows at night like a diamond."

The tower has another iconic touch: LED sticks encircle the building crown like a halo. The molded, reinforced fiber elements have an imbedded lighting system that shines back toward the building façade, giving it a shimmering look at night. The vertical light sticks start on the 23rd floor and rise past the roof, attaching at each level in 10-ft pieces to form contiguous elements up to 200-ft-long. They are placed roughly 20-ft apart from one another around the entire tower.

M.J. Dean is self-forming the concrete work, framing, painting and drywall.

The project, which broke ground in January 2006, will see up to 750 tradesmen on site during the height of construction activity, Cowart says.

The new Palms Place is expected to take its place along the Las Vegas skyline in December.

Key Players

Palms Casino Resort

KGA Architecture; The Jerde Partnership

General Contractor:
M.J. Dean Construction

Interior Design:
Yabu Pushelberg

Structural Engineer:
Lochsa Engineering

Anderson Drilling; Century Steel; Embassy Glass;
Bombard Electric; Bombard Mechanical

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