Thursday, March 2nd the City of Las Vegas held their Downtown Momentum Bus Tour organized by the magnificent Julie Quisenberry. This event has been going on for years. I think the last one I attended was over 5 years ago.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman welcomed attendees in the City Council Chambers with an overview and an interesting fact – Las Vegas is the 2nd city in the nation to be 100% renewable. Pretty remarkable!
My last Takeaway talked about 4 areas of focus where Cities are creating a competitive advantage.
- Work Environment
- Public Space
What areas is the City of Las Vegas focused on…? Robert Summerfield, Planning Section Manager City of Las Vegas, talked about 5 areas.
The Downtown Master Plan was adopted June 2016 and has 5 focus areas. I am summarizing of course. But you will notice that The City of Las Vegas is hitting all areas to create a competitive advantage. It was also pretty clear in the presentation how in touch with reality the City Officials are. They are not promoting these ideas for the sake of promoting them. They correctly understand the challenges, specifically, with housing and employment.
Areas of focus
- Increase Parks and Open Space
- Promote Local Shops and Businesses
- Increase Housing Choices
- Improve Transit
- Improve Social Services
Next up was Scott Adams, Deputy City Manager talking about the Las Vegas Medical District. Below is the Background and Facts – but let me say… this is happening ladies and gentlemen. Yes, it might take time. But so much has been done. And so much more is going to get done.
Las Vegas Medical District – Background
• Formally established in 1997
• Core District is 214 acres
• Expanded District is 684 acres
Las Vegas Medical District – Facts
• Existing Buildings SF: 7,000,000
• Existing Residential Units: 1,200
• Existing Employees: 15,000
• Hospitals: 4
• Annual Patient Visits: 180,000
• Practicing Physicians: 2,200
• Nevada’s Only: Level I Trauma Center, Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, Burn Center, Transplant Center
Rounding third was David Swallow – Senior Director of Engineering and Technology – RTC. He spoke about bringing mobility to downtown and explained the RTC’s efforts beyond buses, roads and highways… oh and coordinating all transportation plans with Nevada DOT. So what more could they possibly being doing?! David mentioned a few things but I want to focus on how the RTC is the largest advocate for bicycling for transit not just recreation.
The RTC Bike Share – (seriously click on that link and check out this fancy website) – launched in October and has had over 6,000 rides since!
Last, but certainly not least was Bill Arent – Director, Economic and Urban Development. These guys and gals all have HUGE titles. Probably because they do so much. Ok so Bill gave some good nuggets. Below are some recently completed projects. And then… the sneaky guy… he gave us some Trends to Watch and a glimpse into what is proposed for Cashman.
• Eclipse Theater 70,000 sf building, luxury theater in theater dining. Meeting space.
• Federal Justice Tower – 158,000 sf
• Supreme & Appellate Courthouse opening this month
• Redflint – University of Phoenix business accelerator
• Iron Yard Tech Impact – at the Westside School ‘exists to create real, lasting change for people, companies and communities through technology education.
• Lucky Dragon – 200+ rooms first ground up hotel in 6 years
• Symphony Park – There is development momentum with professional and medical office
Bill did a great job sending us on the buses with a high note. Trends to watch and a sneak peek of Cashman’s transition to mixed use sports campus. Cashman is situated on 50 acres and the City acquired the 25 acres adjacent to it.
Top 3 trends to watch
- Downtown Hospitality
• Fremont Street experience upgrade
• E-Sports – emerging industry trend globally
- Downtown employment Office tenant incentive program
• $50,000 incentive for tenants going into existing space
- Downtown Housing
• 1,000 – 1,500 new unit goal by 2022
• City looking at creative incentives for developers
Quite a morning. Lots of useful information. And off we went to the tour on Double-Decker buses (compliments of the RTC). Below are the areas we drove. A special thank you to our bus tour guides Elizabeth Lopez and Kevin Gullette with the City of Las Vegas.
• Downtown Las Vegas
• Redevelopment Area 1
• Redevelopment Area 2
• Las Vegas Medical District
• Symphony Park