LAS VEGAS -- The Strip's largest shopping venue, the Fashion Show
mall, is about to become larger, thanks to a $350 million
redevelopment project headed by the Rouse Co., a real estate
developer headquartered in Columbia, Md.
The project, which will be completed during the next two years
in two phases, will double the size of the 20-year-old shopping
center to 1.9 million square feet and add three anchor stores --
Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's Home Store and Lord & Taylor, all new
to the Nevada market -- to those that already exist, including
Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Robinsons-May and
In addition, it is anticipated by Neiman's and Saks that the Las
Vegas stores will become the companies' best-performing venues
outside of New York, so the two will expand to become flagship
locations for their respective companies.
The decision to expand the mall, which will remain open
throughout construction, was a relatively easy one, according to
Rita Brandin, vice president and development director for the Rouse
"Fashion Show is already a highly productive center within the
Rouse portfolio and ranks among the top 10 [malls] in the country
in terms of sales," she said.
Add that to the fact that it is located in Las Vegas, where
shopping and dining no longer take a back seat to gaming, and the
fact that 40% of the mall's 10 million customers per year are local
and you've got a recipe for major expansion plans.
Phase one of the project, already under construction, is scheduled
to be completed in October 2002 and is concentrated on the west
side of the structure, where a 180,000-square-foot Nordstrom and a
150,000-square-foot Bloomingdale's will be built.
All the existing anchor stores also will be expanded during this
Neiman Marcus, which is 102,000 square feet, will grow to
encompass 160,000 square feet, while Dillard's, currently 126,000
square feet; Robinsons-May, measuring 108,000 square feet, and
Macy's, with 134,000 square feet, each will be enlarged to 200,000
In addition, specialty store space, which currently totals
309,000 square feet, will be expanded to 520,000 square feet.
During the west expansion, an attraction known as the Great Room
also will be constructed.
This area, which will be 85 feet wide, four stories high and 600
feet long, will be used for live events such as fashion shows,
product launches and promotions.
The Great Room will feature a retractable, 130-foot-long
elevated runway and stage as well as a video wall measuring 36 feet
wide and 24 feet high and broadcast capabilities.
The next year, in October 2003, Lord & Taylor and the
expanded Saks are scheduled to open.
The former will be 138,000 square feet, while plans call for the
latter, which currently measures 64,000 square feet, to expand to
160,000 square feet.
Once Saks is in its new location on the south side of the mall,
according to Brandin, construction on the shopping center's 600
feet of Las Vegas Boulevard frontage can begin.
A plaza with sidewalk cafes and bistros is planned for this
One hundred and fifty feet overhead will be an attraction called
the Cloud, a 600-foot-long canopy approximately the size of
one-and-a-half football fields that will serve as a projection
surface for fashion-oriented images, according to Brandin.
Additionally, there will be a 48-foot-by-34-foot LED display
screen (essentially a very large television screen) located at the
top of the Grand Staircase, which will serve as Fashion Show's
The display screen will be able to broadcast live fashion events
from inside the mall as well as computer-generated graphics and
images from videotape and video discs.
"Architecturally, we wanted to create a unique property here in
the face of all the unique properties in Las Vegas, but we did not
want a thematic environment," Brandin said.
"We really looked at what we had, and what we had was a lot of
equity in the name Fashion Show.
"We asked ourselves, 'What goes with fashion in the 21st
century?' and technology came to mind," according to Brandin.
"So we added an entertainment component that offers a mix of
technical and live entertainment. It also allows major brands to
have another platform to advertise."