For the Oakland Raiders, when it rains, it pours. Officials in Oakland, California announced yet another plan to try and keep the cherished Oakland Raiders football team from moving to Las Vegas: A new $1.25 billion, 55,000-seat Oakland Raiders stadium to replace the existing Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The plan includes reserving space for a new Oakland A’s baseball team ballpark, a sizeable commercial development, and potentially a “Grand Central Station-like” transit connection to the regional Bay Area Rapid Transit system that would welcome fans to the game. Unlike Las Vegas’s proposal—a $1.9 billion, 65,000 seat stadium designed by Manica Architecture and funded predominantly with $750 million in public money and $650 million in cash from billionaire Sheldon Adelson—the Oakland proposal would not require any public money to be built. Instead, the East Bay Times reports, the plans is to issue city-backed bonds worth $200 million to be paid back with revenues generated by the stadium’s new commercial properties to help pay for the stadium. Those funds will be augmented with money from the National Football League (NFL) and an investment group in order fully fund the new stadium. A portion of those city-backed bonds would also be used to pay back the roughly $95 million in debt the city still has stemming from the last renovation to the Coliseum, which took place in the 1990s. The Oakland Alameda Stadium is the last stadium in the country to function as a dual baseball-football complex, so the Oakland A’s—themselves considering a move to a different site in Oakland—are being offered a carrot as part of the deal, though the details of their stadium are still unclear. Plans released by the city indicate the baseball team will have a 15-acre plot reserved for their new stadium and also mention that the Golden State Warriors’ arena could become a part of the development proposal if the team moves to San Francisco, as is currently planned. A design team has not been announced for the Oakland proposal, but city and regional leaders are meeting Tuesday to set the plan in motion. The big question is whether the Raiders, already more-or-less committed to the Las Vegas move, will take the time to hear out Oakland’s proposal. One thing missing from the proposal: housing. Many new football stadiums, including the HKS-designed complex in Inglewood, California for the Los Angeles Rams, include housing components as part of the stadium design or are situated within neighborhood fabric. Some see the plan’s missing housing component as a missed opportunity to have the team’s continued presence in the rapidly-changing, gentrification-prone borough meaningfully contribute to the area’s economy, especially in light of the recent Ghost Ship disaster.
Posts tagged with "Las Vegas":
The odds for the Oakland Raiders football team’s relocation to Las Vegas are looking very good right about now. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill into law this week that would set aside $1.15 billion in public funds to build two new mega-projects in Las Vegas: a new Manica Architecture–designed Las Vegas Raiders stadium and a large-scale upgrade to the Las Vegas Convention Center. In the deal, the stadium would get $750 million in funding with the remainder going toward the convention center project. Nevada lawmakers narrowly approved the bill in a special legislative session last week, capping off several months of deal-making and buzz for the nearly $2 billion project. Of the remaining sum, local billionaire Sheldon Adelson intends to contribute $650 million in funding, with the team putting roughly $500 million toward the project. Manica Architecture’s proposal for the 65,000-seat stadium has been mostly repurposed from the team’s failed bid to relocate to Los Angeles and features a large, retractable roof canopy. The arena would be located on one of two sites, both adjacent to Interstate-15 and the Mandalay Bay casino towers. One of the proposed sites is located on top of what is currently a portion of the Bali Hai Golf Club. The deal marks the largest amount ever in terms of sheer dollars that a municipality has provided to subsidize the building of a National Football League (NFL) franchise stadium. Construction Dive reports that several concessions were made in order to have the legislature approve the deal, including increasing the amount of access the University of Nevada, Las Vegas would have to the stadium and providing a different rental rate to the university for access to the facilities. In a boastful ceremony marking the signing of the bill, the Sandoval cited inter-city competition as a driver for the funding plan, stating, “Cities such as New York and Chicago and Seattle, they have not only stadiums and major sports franchises, but are also investing over a billion dollars per year in their respective convention centers.” Sandoval’s approval marks the penultimate step in the Raiders’ bid to build a new stadium for the franchise. In order for the move to become officially-sanctioned, two-thirds of current NFL franchise owners would have to agree to allow the team to relocate in an upcoming meeting scheduled for January 2017.
Las Vegas is one step closer to getting its own football team and stadium. Yesterday, The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) unanimously approved a bid for $750 million in public funding for the Manica Architecture-designed project. The decision infuses the itinerant team and it's stadium with a higher potential for realization, but there are still many questions to be answered. SNTIC’s support punts the stadium issue over to Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, who must now convene a special legislative session to approve the funding request. Public financing for the project would be a contingent on the legislature increasing the Clark County hotel tax, perhaps a difficult proposition in a Republican-leaning state where the governor is up for reelection. In a statement released by the governor, Sandoval pledged to hold off deliberating on the matter “until all questions have been resolved,” adding “Nevada has served as the standard bearer for global tourism, gaming, and conventions for decades. In order to remain the top destination, we must explore potential opportunities and push forward to lead this international industry into the next generation of travel and tourism. I am hopeful the work completed by this committee will serve as a roadmap to Southern Nevada’s unrivaled and continued success.” Manica Architecture’s proposal for the stadium, transplanted from an earlier, failed bid the Raiders made for a new home in Los Angeles, is projected to cost nearly $2 billion. Developers for the project consider the $750 million in public funding essential to building the stadium and bringing the team from Oakland to Sin City. The stadium proposal features a massive, retractable roof canopy that would shield the stadium’s 65,000 spectators from the blazing desert heat and aims to connect with the adjacent Mandalay Bay casino and the remainder of the Las Vegas Strip. The final site within the city for the potential stadium to occupy, however, is yet to be finalized. The team is eyeing two adjacent lots hugging Interstate 15: A compact scheme to the west of the Mandalay Bay casino towers, and another, more expansive one to their south. The southern scheme would require partial demolition of the Bali Hai Golf Club but would ultimately consist of a more heavily-landscaped proposal featuring expansive of surface parking.
Kansas City—based Sports stadium juggernaut Manica Architecture’s unused 65,000-seat stadium proposal for the Oakland Raiders is on a summer road trip. When the team’s bid to relocate to Southern California fell through earlier this year, plans for the potential Los Angeles Raiders’ Carson, California stadium were thought to have evaporated with it. But the itinerant team and their now-$1.9 billion stadium proposal were spotted in the Nevada desert late last week, as the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee reviewed plans for a potential new addition to the Las Vegas Strip. The design for the new stadium bears much resemblance to the old one, with a regulation-size playing field overlooked by raked seating and leisure areas. According to new renderings included in the proposal, a big difference lies in the stadium roof. While the Los Angeles scenario was presented as an open-air proposal, the Las Vegas version is topped by a massive dome shielding spectators from the blazing Nevada sun. To allow for flexibility, the curving facade elements that support the dome, recycled from the prior scheme, host equally-massive but operable expanses of glass that would open and close as necessary. Unlike Los Angeles, a densely populated and urbanized area (where the now-under-construction Los Angeles Rams stadium will sit on what is widely considered to be the last sizable undeveloped swatch of land in the region), Las Vegas, with its patchwork of casino parking lots, desert scrub, and subdivisions offers many more site opportunities. The two sites being considered: The first is west of Interstate 15 and across from the golden Mandalay Bay casino towers. On this relatively tight lot, the stadium would occupy a compactly-landscaped portion of a site that would otherwise be dedicated to surface parking lots as well as parking structures. The second potential site, located south of the Mandalay Bay casino, would replace a portion of the Bali Hai Golf Club with a more heavily-landscaped arrangement and—according to preliminary site plans—contain surface parking exclusively. The scheme is still subject to approval, leaving team owners to pitch the potential economic benefits of the stadium as justification for their insistence on the city providing $750 million in public funding for the project. Could the team’s owners be pressing their luck? Don’t be surprised if you see this stadium again, somewhere else. UPDATE: Las Vegas has voted to approve the deal.
Owned by AEG and MGM Resorts International, the 650,000-square-foot T-Mobile Arena is the result of a three year process involving Populous and Hunt-Penta Joint Venture. The building showcases smart urbanistic principles, aiming to extend pedestrian amenities west from Las Vegas Boulevard along the formerly-named Rue de Monte Carlo (updated to Park Ave) with around 16 acres of park-like entertainment space. The project team, led by Brad Clark, Senior Principal at Populous, took inspiration from the surrounding desert by prioritizing a contextual design response that resulted in two unique facade systems: a thermal wrapper of insulated metal panels, and a curtain wall paired with a curvilinear LED screen. “Our team felt pretty strongly the building should be contextual and of Las Vegas,” said Clark. “Not just the city but the region. Everything in Vegas seems to be a re-creation of something else. We wanted this building to be more authentic than that.” The LED facade takes advantage of an axial connection to Park Avenue, orienting the arena’s main entrance to the northeast, facing Las Vegas Boulevard. Gabe Braselton, Project Architect at Populous says this offers a unique experience for pedestrians: “It really becomes a beacon as you're coming down the Rue de Monte Carlo off of the Strip.” Populous programmed the building to maximize its engagement to urban Vegas, pushing support spaces (restrooms, concessions, vendors, first aid rooms, etc.) to the perimeter to open up a large lobby space at the main entrance where a 1,000-person terrace hovers overhead. Above this, numerous private balconies provide outdoor access for some of the 50 luxury suites lining the arena. All of this activity is overshadowed by the LED screen, which is composed of individual 1/2” thick 50mm pixel pitch sticks set 2” apart. The 9,000-square-foot electronic surface is structured off of a primary steel frame with secondary 6” tube steel members forming a doubly-curved surface that cants outward toward the Strip while curving around the elliptical arena facade. The dynamism of the surface is further articulated with a skew in elevation, producing a parallelogram-shaped screen area with acute angles. Despite a density of LED sticks producing high-resolution video and a daytime-visible brightness level, the screen is surprisingly porous and doubly-functions as a shading and ventilation device for the outdoor balcony spaces and building envelope. The screen is set 18” off a standard aluminum-framed curtain wall assembly which provides enclosure of the building envelope. While previous Populous projects have integrated LEDs into curtain wall assemblies, the scale and tectonics of this configuration is something new for the firm, which has a portfolio of more than 17 NBA/NHL arenas and 85 university and civic arenas. Braselton attributes the unique scale of this facade to evolving technology which is managing to keep up with flexible, multi-purpose architecturally innovative arena design: "as we push different ideas and boundaries, the marketplace for the different products evolves as well. Every couple of years there is something new to consider." The LED facade system accounts for around 25% of the arenas surface area. The other 75% of the building, including south and west exposures, provides thermal response to a harsh desert sun. The earth-toned coloration and stratified composition of the metal panels reflect Vegas’ desert environment and its distant mountain topography. This composition extends inward to the seating bowl which takes on similar design aesthetic. Contained within these two wrappers is a multi-purpose arena that accommodates a variety of events from concerts to sporting events, beauty pageants, circuses and rodeos. "This venue is the definition of multi-purpose." End-stage concerts drove the seating bowl layout, which limits seating behind the stage to maximize capacity for concerts and other events utilizing an end stage configuration. Capacity varies based on the event, ranging from 12,000 to 20,000. Multiple locker facilities, dressing rooms, green rooms and multipurpose spaces were included to accommodate the variety of events and performances that will occur in the building. Since opening, the NHL has awarded an expansion franchise to Las Vegas which will play at the arena. The project, designed to LEED Gold specifications, opened in April and anticipates around 100 to 150 events annually. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inpJWJ7tLhg
We’re always excited about new rail plans, especially in car-dependent cities. A little under two weeks ago, the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission approved a long-term regional transit plan. In Las Vegas, there are two separate plans for light rail that, if funded and built, would be a first for the city. One light rail project could run along the Strip. “Proponents of the transit technology are pushing it as a way to better connect McCarran International Airport with the Strip and downtown Las Vegas,” reported the Las Vegas Sun. "Officials have not yet resolved one of the proposal’s biggest uncertainties—how it would be funded—but they have started to make some progress on the general concept.” In July, the commission expects to start an 18-month long alternatives analysis, which could explore issues like light rail stop placements, track locations, and funding sources. There are also other plans to build an 8.7 mile light rail farther east on Maryland Parkway with 25 stations. It would also run between the airport and downtown. The highest estimated cost for this project is $465 million. “A Strip light rail system could connect with what's being proposed for Maryland Parkway, if both are built, but they come with different considerations and may operate differently,” wrote the Las Vegas Sun in an earlier article. If this plan continues to move ahead, Maryland Parkway light rail could open as early as 2023. The city is also considering a number of project proposals: a downtown master plan, expanded bike trails, pedestrian bridges, and an urban gondola lift and monorail project.
Brace yourself O.C.: It’s unclear if the battle of the Solar Decathlon will return to Irvine’s Orange County Great Park in 2017. This week the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced 16 participating teams who are gearing up for the task of designing and building a solar-powered house, but the feds have yet to announce the competition site. Hailing from colleges and universities across the United States and around the world—from Rolla, Missouri to Utrecht, Netherlands—the teams have nearly two years to develop an affordable and energy-efficient design strategy. According to the DOE, the Solar Decathlon teams compete in 10 contests that range from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance. Judges are looking for “[T]he team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.” In past years, teams had to cover some hefty research, design, construction, and shipping costs. But for one team the gamble will pay off. The winner takes home a whopping $2 million prize. (That’s a pretty huge PV array.) Homes will be showcased and on view to the public for free tours in mid-2017. The Solar Decathlon 2017 teams are:
- École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona State College
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- HU University of Applied Science Utrecht, Netherlands
- Missouri University of Science and Technology
- Northwestern University
- Rice University
- Syracuse University
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of California at Berkeley
- University of California at Davis
- University of Maryland
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Washington State University
- Washington University
- West Virginia University
Every architect has horror stories about construction quality on job sites. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) union wants to prevent that, investing $250 million for a training center in Las Vegas to teach and certify their workers. The group has been building the International Training Center, just outside McCarran Airport, over the past several years, and recently completed phase five of the complex, bringing its total size to almost 1 million square feet. The facility features more than 70 classrooms, its own dorms (with 300 guest rooms), and training shops fitted with facilities like scaffolding mock ups, concrete form making stations, a pile driver pit, flooring stations, glass curtain wall mock ups, turbine pit, a robot zone, and even a tank to practice underwater welding. Third year apprentices from around the country train here for two weeks at a time. They include general carpenters, interior systems carpenters and drywallers, millwrights, floor coverers, millworkers, cabinetmakers, framing and residential carpenters, pile drivers, lathers, scaffolders, roofers, and workers in forest-product and related industries. The UBC sponsors more than 200 training centers across North America (there are about 3,500 full- and part-time instructors associated with the UBC), but this is by far the largest. “Our job is to make sure our members are trained and ready,” said Bill Irwin, executive director of the Carpenters International Training Fund.
Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is ramping up for its 2015 show in Las Vegas, January 20-22. More than 500 exhibitors – representing a 25 percent increase over the successful 2014 event, will be in attendance, along with an estimated 125,000 industry professionals. Also new for 2015 is the addition of more than 500,000 square feet of exhibition space. Branded KBISNeXT™, this section of the show is a destination for discovering the next ideas, trends and innovations in the kitchen and bath industry. KBISNeXTTM will feature the KBISNeXT Stage, Tech Bar, and the FutureHaus Kitchen, presented by Virginia Tech. It will also showcase more KBIS exhibitors, the popular Best of KBIS Awards and the show’s newest award program: the Innovative Showroom Awards. Following last year’s successful co-location with the International Builder’s Show (IBS) and the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE), along with the launch of Design & Construction Week, this year’s show is bigger and better. Building upon that success, SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas and TileExpo, and the Las Vegas Market have also joined on to be part of the 2015 Design & Construction Week. January. 18-23. To learn more about KBIS and register for the 2015 show, visit www.kbis.com.
The world of design trade shows seems to be ever expanding, with established and new shows sending out satellites coast-to-coast. A mini version of Dwell on Design is coming to New York, opening on October 9. Meanwhile, New York’s biggest design show, ICFF, is heading west, during the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas. And New York Design Week is expanding still further with yet another show, tentatively titled Disruptive Design. We can already feel the hangover coming on!
“It’s a fun time in Vegas right now, with the economy up,” said Beth Campbell, principal and managing director of Gensler’s Las Vegas office. Downtown is being reborn, thanks in no small part to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s multi-million dollar investment. The Strip, too, is booming—see the High Roller observation wheel, which opened on March 31. At the same time, the spendthrift breeziness of the pre-recession years is gone. “Everyone is coming back to life, but with a refined focus and purpose,” said Campbell. “I would say the clients and developers are cautiously aggressive...they still want to grow, still want to reach for the sky...But they’re really focused on how they’re applying [their money] to make these projects happen.” Campbell described the change as a “big shift to experiential design.” In most cases, property owners elect to pour most of their money into key client areas, keeping behind-the-scenes spaces simple. “It’s the peanut butter concept,” said Campbell. “You can spread it thin across the whole piece [of bread] or just put it all in one corner.” As an example, Campbell cited Gensler’s renovation of an existing office campus for budget airline Allegiant Air’s new headquarters. Construction on the five-building, 120,000 square-foot complex began last month. “It’s been a very measured approach to this new facility for them, keeping in line with their corporate values and their low-cost approach,” said Campbell. “But they put their people first, and they’re doing the same thing in their office space.” To accommodate multiple work modes, Gensler created a variety of spaces, including open office space, individual work stations, and collaboration zones. Flexibility was the keynote. “Although we’re doing drywall partitions, we’re doing it in such a manner that if they want to move these boxes they can,” said Campbell. Gensler also recently renovated The AXIS Theater inside Planet Hollywood, home to Britney Spears’s “A Piece of Me” show. The clients “had one mission in mind and that was to create a great experience for the people who are coming,” said Campbell. As with Allegiant Air, the theater’s owners “were very measured, they were very methodical about how they wanted to apply their money.” The theater’s lobby is outfitted in shades of grey and black, the sharp lines of the asymmetrical portal balanced by a massive LED sculpture spiraling from the ceiling. In keeping with the nightclub theme, the auditorium’s walls are also black, as is its domed ceiling. Rows of purple seats hug a half-ring of VIP tables and, against the stage, two standing areas. Campbell sees last month’s RFP for a Downtown Master Plan as further evidence of the new zeitgeist, which couples renewed optimism with careful planning. “It’s a mechanism for the city to evaluate what’s in place, what do we really have,” she said. “It’s going to take a look at, are they spending their money in the right places?” Timed to coincide with the completion of a new form-based code for downtown, the master plan will define an overall strategy for the city’s revitalization. “It’s really interesting to watch,” said Campbell. “It’s measured. It’s not just a shotgun approach.”
In Las Vegas, you win some and you lose some. Lining up as what must be one of the biggest busts in Sin City history, the exceptionally-botched, Foster + Partners–designed Harmon Hotel, now has a date with the wrecking ball. The stubby 27-story tower—it was originally supposed to measure 49 stories but construction problems stunted its growth—never opened and no one ever checked in at what would surely have been a posh front desk. As AN reported in 2011, the Harmon Hotel was in the midst of a bitter lawsuit to allow demolition to proceed as some were claiming the structural deficiencies were enough to make even the shortened tower structurally unsound and at risk of collapse:
After discovering deficient steel reinforcing in early 2009, MGM left the foreshortened tower an unfinished shell but is now moving to implode the structure citing safety concerns. Alan Feldman, senior vice president of public affairs at MGM, said the company had submitted an engineering recommendation and demolition action plan to Clark County, Nevada detailing the structural shortcomings of the Harmon. “The city asked us to respond to the engineer’s report to determine the best way forward,” said Feldman. “We decided the best move is to take the building down.”The Harmon Hotel is part of MGM's $9 billion mega-development, CityCenter, which features buildings by Daniel Libeskind, Rafael Vinoly, Helmut Jahn, and others. The Harmon Hotel sits adjacent to Libeskind's ultra-luxury shopping center, the Crystals, which AN profiles in a past retail feature. Now, MGM has resolved that lawsuit and on April 22 received court approval to proceed with demolition of the tower. According to a report in Architectural Record, there won't be a dramatic, Las Vegas–style implosion. Instead, the hotel will be taken apart, piece by piece, over the next year.