It’s been a good year for Henderson.
The Henderson Chamber of Commerce held its annual State of the Chamber event this month at Green Valley Ranch Resort with more than 500 in attendance, and there was plenty to celebrate with the development projects that are underway or planned in the city and jobs that will be created.
That has even trickled down to its membership that grew by more than 350 members in 2019 and reached 1,800, of which about 57 percent aren’t even from Henderson. There are even members from outside the state who are trying to get plugged into what is happening in the city.
The success stories have been numerous.
• The Raiders $75-million-plus practice facility and headquarters when they relocate from Oakland remains under construction near the Henderson Executive Airport in west Henderson.
• Amazon will be open a 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center in west Henderson.
• The Golden Knights are building a hockey arena in downtown, and that fits in with the revitalization of Water Street where developers have announced multimillion plans to build retail, office and housing.
• Google is constructing a $600 million data center on Warm Springs Road, west of Boulder Highway.
• Last week, the Henderson City Council approved a development agreement with PEGA Investments as part of selling 279 acres for a multiphase project that includes California-based Haas Automation, a machine tool builder. The entire development is expected to create thousands of jobs.
• Matter Real Estate is also building an industrial business park near the Henderson airport.
• Housing developments in Inspirada, Cadence and Lake Las Vegas have continued to see growth and expansion. Union Village in east Henderson is taking shape with medical offices and facilities and housing.
Chamber Chairman John Ramous said it’s a culmination of projects planned for many years and a lot of capital and new clients coming in from the outside expansion on the inside.
“It give us credibility,” Ramous said. “It puts us on a national platform. In a number of different metrics, we have actually seen it exceed prior to the Great Recession in terms of certain activity of development and rates. You’re finally getting back above the point where we were prior. For a community to grow you don’t want a high peak. You want sustained reasonable growth, and we have done a better job of doing that this term in overall construction.”
Scott Muelrath, the chamber’s present and CEO, said getting Google to Henderson is as “big as a technology win as you can hope to get” with career jobs and with the company’s recognition and ties to Silicon Valley.
“Everybody knows Google, and that’s going to draw a parallel-type company in the technology sector that maybe wouldn’t have taken a look,” Muelrath said.
Ramous said Southern Nevada has gone from a tertiary market to a major secondary market, and Henderson is driving that.
“What you are seeing is logistics is making a home in Southern Nevada where it never did before,” Ramous said. “You’re seeing facilities that were historically 100,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet are now becoming 500,000 square feet to 1 million square feet, and there are opportunities to go beyond that.”
The Amazon project has been in the works for a couple of years and the discussion of it and others has been tremendous, Muelrath said.
“It’s easy to talk about some of the projects like we have but to actually have them come out of the ground is exciting,” Muelrath said. “It’s now about getting all of those businesses started and finding the workforce and the ripple effect that will occur for the smaller businesses and development projects. It’s a great time to be in business in Henderson.”
Both talked about the city, chamber and the business community working together to make growth and development occur. Available developable land in Henderson helped these projects happen.
“You have a lot of major investment backed by a lot of major capital,” Ramous said. “It’s very different from what it was before (the Great Recession). You have sustainability that historically I haven’t seen, and I don’t think we’ve seen this magnitude. It’s not just someone else’s money but backed by major organizations that have a lot of capital.”
As for the future, land availability continue to be an issue, Ramous said. Haas, for example, plans to build on land owned by Henderson, but he said the region has reached the point where it needs the federal government to work with local governments to make land available for development.
“The large tracts that are congruent we definitely need more of those,” Muelrath added.
And for all the talk of a looming recession nationally and globally in 2020 or 2021, Ramous said there’s no signs of that in Southern Nevada. He’s the senior vice president and regional manager for Harsch Investment Properties.
“There is a lot of noise out there but I don’t think we are seeing signs of a slowdown,” Ramous said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t companies out there facing it, but the businesses here seem to be doing pretty good. I’m not seeing tenants unable to pay. Will it trickle down to the economy here? I think you have to look at the projects in place moving forward that will be completed. If there was a recession, I don’t think you will see that slowdown or stop.”