To paraphrase Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn from Swingers ‘We’re taking a trip to Vegas, Baby!’ for this week’s Epstein #WouldHaveBeenWednesday. It was in Las Vegas back in 2006 that Epstein began the design and engineering for the Mercer, a proposed new $50M, 113-unit condominium development on a 5.2 acre site that was being developed by JDL Development and Modern Living Holdings.
The Mercer would have been located west of Las Vegas Boulevard and the proposed design scheme featured a mixed-use development of three-story units ranging in size from 800 square feet one bedrooms to 1,400 square feet two bedrooms and 2,100 square feet three bedrooms. The Mercer scheme also called for 12,000 square feet of retail space and underground parking. The complex would have also offered its residences a 1,600 square foot clubhouse/gym and a climate controlled outdoor pool.
One interesting aspect of the project is how Epstein's engineers’ proposed to ventilate the sub-grade parking garage exhaust through architectural features in the courtyard located directly above the garage. These “ventilation towers” were coordinated between Epstein's mechanical engineers and architects, as well as the design architect, assemblageSTUDIO. The main benefit of the towers, besides the aesthetic, would have been in the reduction of noise. Instead of having all of the ventilation at the perimeter of the building which would be visible and also create noise for the residential units, they were placed in the courtyard and furthermore designed to be seen. The towers would have been acoustically insulated to reduce the sound transmission from the large exhaust fans.
Epstein engineers also designed the water heaters for each unit to be located within an exterior closet on the private balcony due to the warmer climate and mild winters which require less heating needs for the residences. The water heaters, which have two functions, domestic hot water and also to deliver heat to the fan coil, would have been located outside for better ventilation and eliminated the need for a flue.
The Mercer began construction in 2008, but due to the real estate collapse during the Great Recession, was stopped later that year. All that remains is paved over foundation of what Would Have Been, but have been told that local skaters use the pad extensively, so at least some good came of our hard work.