News briefs

July 01, 2002 |

One-man building boom, baby. Summer's heating up for Las Vegas mega-developer Steve Wynn. On June 17, he filed an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise money for what would be the most expensive resort ever built on the Vegas strip. Dubbed "Le Reve" (French for "the dream"), Wynn's new $2.5 billion hotel and casino would fill the now-vacant site of the former Desert Inn. By comparison, the famed Bellagio — a former Wynn property — cost $1.8 billion when completed in October 1998. According to published reports, Wynn already has hired local contractor Marnell Corrao to build Le Reve.

On June 24, Wynn flew to Macau, 40 miles west of Hong Kong, to unveil plans for another mega-resort that would require an initial $512 million investment over the next seven years. Governed by communist China, Macau is a tiny peninsula that, like Hong Kong, has been granted special economic status enabling it to lure both Western investors and "capitalist" high-rollers.

Stop'n go in L.A. Los Angeles County this month named "hot" New York City architect Steven Holl, 54, to design its planned $300 million expansion and renovation of the downtown Museum of Natural History. Aiming to recapture the facility's 1913 Beaux Arts roots, the project still must raise funds, aiming for a 2006 groundbreaking.

Earlier, the county filed suit June 27 in L.A. Superior Court to block a $1 billion downtown redevelopment plan, tentatively approved by the City Council. The county claims it would siphon off tax dollars for non-public purposes, such as a new $450 million football stadium.

Atlanta taps big-name maestro. Fresh off his white-hot success with the acclaimed Milwaukee Art Museum, Spanish architect-engineer Santiago Calatrava last month was selected by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to design its new $240 million downtown performance venue. Emerging from a field of 59 architects, the 51-year-old Calatrava now will work alongside acoustician Kirkegaard Associates and master planner Cesar Pelli & Assoc. Groundbreaking is set for 2005 and opening night for fall 2008.

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