New City Hall running at full capacity for the first time

Think of all the complications of a family move, then toss in about 400 people and a home that is open to the public.

That's what's wrapping up at Las Vegas' new City Hall at 495 S. Main St.

The seven-story building was running at full capacity for the first time Monday.

And aside from some minor glitches, everything appeared to be running smoothly, at least in public areas.

"It is like moving into your house," said Scott Adams, the city's chief redevelopment officer. "We have a lot of boxes and a lot of things to settle in."

The move has been occurring in earnest since about Feb. 16. Several city offices, starting with the city clerk's, were opened in the new location Feb. 21, and remaining departments opened to the public Monday morning.

Adams said that in some ways life in City Hall is less complicated because workers are settling into one home. Recently many of them have been working from both buildings, especially in the information technology department, which he said was maintaining technology infrastructure in both locations.

Even as city business went on as normal Monday, there were plenty of signs that the move is not yet complete.

Unassigned phones rang occasionally, a warning beeper ran unabated in a public elevator, workers put the finishing touches on a second-floor patio, and artwork rested on the floor in a common area waiting to be hung for display. There were also some electronic locks that didn't respond to employee badges.

Nonetheless the move, which Adams said cost about $100,000, was on schedule as was the opening of the building.

The building is subject to a lease-purchase agreement between the city and developer Forest City. The city borrowed about $185 million, largely through low-interest Build America bonds, for construction and contingencies.

Actual costs to build and furnish the structure came in around $150 million. There's also a $15 million parking structure for employees and the public.

Once the parking gate arms are operational, parking will be 75 cents per hour, after two hours free with validation.

City Hall hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.