Development of Summerlin Centre heralds community's future

The adage “shop ‘til you drop” is old and hackneyed. Still, that’s the way it’s going to be a year from now when more than 125 retail operations known as The Shops at Summerlin are expected to be open for business. More than likely, it will be in advance of Black Friday 2014, and as one might expect, Christmas shoppers will indeed be falling over one another.

The bulldozers, cranes and other heavy equipment have been moving at a rapid pace for months to stay abreast of a schedule that calls for the opening of the shops by late next year.

But what you might not have realized — unless you take a good look at the steel framing the next time you drive along the 215 Beltway between Charleston Boulevard and Sahara Avenue — is that nine stories of office space will also be in place above one area of The Shops.

“It won’t be just some suburban office building. It’s going to be a Class A office building, with just under 200,000 square feet of quality space,” said Tom Warden, senior vice president of community and government relations for The Howard Hughes Corp., the developer of Summerlin.

So, what constitutes a Class A building, as opposed to a Suburban A building?

“A steel structure for one and stone cladding for another,” Warden explained.

What he didn’t have to say is that the office building will also carry a prime address because of its location. In addition, it will undoubtedly become one of the hallmark structures of not just Summerlin but all of Clark County.

Warden also didn’t have to say that The Shops might well be hailed as the hallmark of shopping centers throughout Southern Nevada. It’s being constructed on 106 acres of a 400-acre tract that eventually will become recognized as Downtown Summerlin.

Among the heavyweight retailers that will help anchor The Shops are Macy’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom Rack.

But construction of the huge commercial center is only one segment of a larger plan that will include not just retail and office structures but residential and entertainment facilities as well, all in a centralized setting.

Some 200 acres of undeveloped property are adjacent to The Shops and will contain townhouses, restaurants and pedestrian walkways in a park-like setting. Entertainment facilities on the site may include a 9,000-seat stadium for the Las Vegas 51s minor-league baseball team.

“Rounding out the 400 acres, which we refer to as Summerlin Centre, is the Red Rock Resort and the two commercial buildings that have already been built along Charleston Boulevard,” Warden explained.

Those include a large fitness center and the City National Bank building, both of which are east of Red Rock Resort, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd.

If you happened to scan a recent tabloid section in the Las Vegas Review-Journal called Summerlin, More Than a Place to Live, you would have seen an updated map of Summerlin, and at the very core of the community is The Shops.

But the map also reveals three large areas of Summerlin that are undeveloped. The largest by far is a vast sector just west of Sun City, The Trails and The Arbors. The other two areas are in the southern sector. One is south of The Ridges and west of Siena, and the other is due south of Russell Road.

Warden said those areas are part of the approximately 7,000 acres of undeveloped Summerlin. No timetable has been set for their development, which is why they’re referred to as “future villages” on the Summerlin map. But Warden did indicate that they’re likely destined for residential construction.

Meanwhile, economic factors have not curtailed home construction or buyer activity at nine sites scattered throughout Summerlin. Present development in those communities includes one-story and two-story homes and townhouses ranging in prices.

“Once it has been completed, Summerlin Centre will be the major component for all commercial, restaurant and entertainment activity within Summerlin,” Warden added. “That’s not to say there won’t be small forms of neighborhood shopping in areas that are still to be developed.”

Herb Jaffe was an op-ed columnist and investigative reporter for most of his 39 years at the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. His most recent novel, “Double Play,” is now available. Contact him at