City of Las Vegas Attracting
Investment, Residents, Businesses
Published October 29, 2019
What is the role of the Economic and Urban Development Department of the City of Las Vegas?
We are the business arm of the city and comprised of three different divisions: Business Development, Redevelopment, and Parking Services. The Business Development Division’s primary focus is to help current businesses expand, as well as to attract new businesses into the city. The Redevelopment Division collaborates with developers, landlords, land owners, and lenders and connects them with businesses in order to promote and stimulate development. Parking Services manages city owned parking assets and also does third-party enforcement for privately owned parking lots in the downtown area. Proceeds generated from these services are reinvested into the construction of new parking garages downtown.
Downtown Las Vegas
"We are also working with a developer to deliver a 400 key non-gaming hotel that will support the additional visitors that are anticipated as part of the 315,000 square foot convention center, which is being constructed across the street on the World Market Center site."
The Smith Center at Symphony Park
What are some of the main projects that you are focusing on at the moment?
Some of the main projects that we are focusing on include Symphony Park, the Medical District and Cashman Field.
Symphony Park is a 61-acre former brownfield site that is the home to the Smith Center, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Children’s Museum. There are two parking garages currently under construction at Symphony Park, along with two multifamily developments that will combine to deliver over 600 units and 25,000 square feet of retail space. We are also working with a developer to deliver a 400 key non-gaming hotel that will support the additional visitors that are anticipated as part of the 315,000 square foot convention center, which is being constructed across the street on the World Market Center site.
The Medical District is a 684-acre development that is home to UMC and Valley Hospitals, which boast Nevada’s only Level I Trauma Center and Level II Pediatric Trauma Center. The Medical District is also home to the UNLV Dental School and School of Medicine, which has plans to construct their new campus in the heart of the district in the coming years.
Cashman Field is a 50 plus acre redevelopment site that is the current home to the Las Vegas Lights, a professional USL soccer team. We are currently exploring the opportunity to bring a MLS team to Cashman and working diligently with a development team on a phased, mixed use project for the site.
Las Vegas Lights FC match at Cashman Field
"Not only is it the entertainment capital of the world that draws over 43 million visitors a year, but it also offers a market area of more than 60 million people within a one day’s drive."
What are some of the challenges that the City of Las Vegas currently faces with attracting businesses and developers?
The City of Las Vegas faces some of the same macro challenges as the rest of the Southern Nevada region which include workforce, health care and education. Specific to Downtown, land cost and parking availability can be a challenge, and homelessness is a big issue that the City is working hard to mitigate. That being said, I think downtown has come a long way. It has seen a great deal of private investment over the last decade, and currently has over $1 billion of projects under construction.
Circa Hotel project in Downtown Las Vegas
"...we are seeing a tremendous amount of private investment into all asset classes, including residential, mixed use and gaming."
The World Market Center, adjacent to Symphony Park
Are you hopeful for the future prospects of Las Vegas?
I am. Las Vegas is a great place to live and to do business. Not only is it the entertainment capital of the world that draws over 43 million visitors a year, but it also offers a market area of more than 60 million people within a one day’s drive. It is conveniently located between other major west coast cities like Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Salt Lake City and offers a high standard of living at a comparatively lower cost. There are no state or business income taxes, and we have an affordable property tax structure. Additionally, Las Vegas has more than 300 days of sunshine per year, with mild winters and low humidity, making it an outdoor mecca for those who live here.
Specific to downtown, and as I note above, we are seeing a tremendous amount of private investment into all asset classes, including residential, mixed use and gaming. Investment begets more investment, so we’re confident that downtown will continue to head in the right direction and attract more residents and businesses to its core.
The Fremont East Entertainment District
Downtown Las Vegas with the Molasky Building in the foreground
Are there specific initiatives that the city is implementing in order to make this a reality?
Through its Redevelopment Agency, the City offers a myriad of incentives to promote business development and redevelopment into downtown. Incentives include Tax Increment Financing, a Downtown Business Assistance Program, a Multi-Family Residential Unit Improvement Program, a Commercial Visual Improvement Program and an Office Tenant Incentive Program. We are also located in a New Market Tax Credit and Opportunity Zone census tract.