$700M Redevelopment of Vegas’s Moulin Rouge Casino in the Works

Not to be outdone by the billions of dollars being poured into developments on the Strip, Downtown Las Vegas is set for its own rebirth and the redevelopment of the Moulin Rouge Hotel & Casino is expected to play a big part. A joint venture involving Moulin Rouge Development Corp. and Republic Urban Properties L.L.C. has just presented the city with its plan for transforming the property at a cost of $700 million to $1 billion. Located in the Uptown area of the city, the Moulin Rouge debuted in 1955 and enjoyed a short history–only about six months–as a hot gaming spot. The property later operated in different capacities, including residential, but its doors had been closed for years until a fire in 2004 swept trough the building, leaving only the structure’s façade and its renowned neon sign. Now, MRDC and Republic Urban plan to restore the property to its previous glory–and then some. “The city has identified downtown as a center for focused growth, and they’re looking at this project as a catalyst,” David Peter, president & CEO of Suburban Washington, D.C.-based Republic Urban, told CPN today.The new Moulin Rouge (pictured) will feature 700 hotel rooms, 50,000 square feet of retail space and spa facilities, restaurants, meeting space and a Museum & Cultural Center. Paying homage to the casino’s celebrated past, MRDC and Republic Urban will incorporate the remaining building façade, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the neon sign into the redevelopment. While the price tag on the Moulin Rouge endeavor is in the same league as the costs for many projects in the works on the Strip, the redevelopment is not being proposed as a step toward duplicating the city’s most popular stretch. “This is a different area and we don’t see the new Moulin Rouge as necessarily competing with the Strip,” Peter said. “It’s not intended to be the same. It will cater to a blend of people, a different niche.”The next step for the joint venture involves the attainment of zoning approvals, a process the team will start when it goes before the Planning Commission on Feb. 28. MRDC and Republic Urban are seeking approval for 17 acres; some parcels surrounding the property are currently under contract. The final step is securing the City Council’s approval of the project, which is expected to come in April. If all goes as planned the team will break ground in mid- to late-2009.