Representatives from the valley’s major cities spoke about the positive development underway and what can be expected in the coming years at a recent event early this month.
At the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance’s third annual State of Economic Development on Feb. 1 at the Four Seasons, representatives from North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City spoke about large-scale industrial projects in the works, the new medical school and other plans for growth in their prospective regions.
Mike Majewski, Boulder City Economic Development, touted plans for one of the city’s newest projects: Eldorado Droneport, a 50-acre project being developed by Aerodome — the first public drone airport in the world, he said.
Also coming up is plans to bring a 500-acre industrial project, near the new Interstate 11 interchange. Majewski said the city is working on a master plan, which should be completed by the end of the first quarter, he said.
Majewski said the interstate project does have some drawbacks for Boulder City, which he estimates will lose one-third of its traffic flow once the I-11 interchange is complete.
Besides bringing in drone-related businesses and looking at doing a large development, Majewski said the city will focus on what he called adventure tourism to ease the negative effects I-11 could have on the region.
Patrick Sinnott, the business development manager for the Las Vegas Economic and Development department, touted the downtown region’s more than 26,000-square-foot building for the Nevada Court of Appeals and the 11-story, 158,000-square-foot Federal Justice Tower at Las Vegas Boulevard and Clark Avenue. Both came to completion in 2016.
Las Vegas is also doing site work for the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine, in the medical district.
“We’re looking for a great year in 2017 as well,” Sinnott said. “We have 85-plus projects in our pipeline.”
An important facet of growth is enhancing what is already there.
“We’re not competing for employers here now; we’re competing for the workforce of the future,” Sinnott said.
Sinnott sees employers heading for Nevada if the local workforce is more educated.
One of the ways to enhance this is to create more partnerships with the education partners.
Barbara Coffee, director of economic development and tourism in Henderson, was also interested in educating the local workforce. The city is working with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology to leverage grant funds for IT boot camps.
“We just trained 15 people and turned those out last fall,” Coffee said.
Coffee also pointed to the recent development work in the industrial sector as a positive. The addition of new space makes it easier for companies looking to relocate to Henderson to set up shop.
“We’re excited about 1 million square feet of industrial space that’s being delivered now,” Coffee said.
North Las Vegas
Industrial development is where North Las Vegas has shined over the past several years.
Gina Gavan, director of economic and business development for the city of North Las Vegas, said the city has added 16,000 jobs in the past couple of years and is having a construction spurt, with 12.5 million square feet of commercial space currently being built.
Gavan said this is a complete turnaround from a city that had one in three homes in foreclosure.
In the coming years, the city would like to see a lot of growth in the commercial sector.
Gavan said Mayor John Lee has a goal of building 100 million square feet of commercial space in the coming years.
Philip Klevorick, the Clark County economic development liaison, was also interested in growth. Much of his sentiments were to help bring the group together and take advantage of the what Southern Nevada has to offer.
“The way we do that is to work together and maximize our limited resources,” Klevorick said.