From all indications, the Summerlin area has a lot to look forward to in 2014. There are new home offerings being planned, along with new shopping venues and the refreshing of other ones.
Kevin Orrock, president of Summerlin, said the area is poised to build on the success of recent months.
“There have been a lot of exciting things happening in Summerlin — the opening of Wet ‘n’ Wild, the much-awaited progress you’re seeing at the corner of Sahara (Avenue) and 215 (Beltway), just south of Red Rock (Resort), the Shops at Summerlin,” Orrock said. “If you haven’t been over there, there’s a lot of activity. … It’ll be 1.6 million square feet of retail, entertainment, dining and office, so we’re really excited about that. All those things are good for the community, good for our residents, good for Southern Nevada.”
RETAIL PROJECTS ON THE RISE
Village Square’s renovation is drawing customers. The 250,000-square-foot, open-air center at 9400 W. Sahara Ave. opened more than six new stores in 2013.
Tom Warden, senior vice president of community and government relations for The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin, said to expect the Shops at Summerlin to open this fall.
“We have seen a strong and growing rebound across the board,” Warden said. “With Las Vegas and Summerlin leading the way, our economic outlook, as well as our confidence, continues to grow. … A regional retail development of this magnitude is rare in America today, and in our case, it shows that the Las Vegas Valley is ready to grow again.”
He said to expect to hear of additional new shops early this year as “interest in our project from the retail community has been very robust. But let’s not forget the Shops at Summerlin is just the beginning of Summerlin’s downtown that will also include office and urban residential spaces. There is still much more to come.”
Part of what’s to come is the Sahara Center, the 220,000-square-foot project underway at Sahara Avenue and Hualapai Way, which is busy as well. Ted Baker, Sahara Center’s retail leasing consultant with NewMarket Advisors, said the approximately 20 acres at 10000 W. Sahara Ave. were on schedule, but he couldn’t reveal any store signings yet. He did say that most would be national big-box stores.
The center is being built in one phase. The in-line shops are scheduled to be finished by July, and it’s expected that most, if not all, of the anchors will open in October, Baker said.
What’s his view of the economy?
“It’s anybody’s guess,” Baker said. “I think the demand for the space is strong enough, the location is strong enough that we should be able to weather whatever economic storms may come. … I think the real important point is that, in Summerlin particularly, it’s so underserved (by retail) that the demand was there even in the worst of times in 2008. Nobody was able to deliver retail. And it’s still very, very difficult to get one of these projects out of the ground. The banks are really scrutinizing at a level I’ve never seen in almost 30 years in the business. Understandably, they made a lot of bad decisions leading up to the collapse, and they’re overreacting now. But I’d rather see it this way than the opposite.”
Patrick Done, president of Tivoli Village, said the second phase of the shopping destination at 440 S. Rampart Blvd. was moving ahead smoothly. Like the Shops at Summerlin, a lid is being kept on which stores to expect.
“We do have a couple of leases that we’ve signed, but we’ll make that announcement after the first of the year,” he said.
Some centers strive for 50 percent of the space to be pre-leased before breaking ground. Not Tivoli Village. It began construction before having executed leasing in place.
“But we’ve laid the groundwork to have leases executed and believe they will be, so that the project will have adequate occupancy at opening,” Done said. “So, our process is a little bit different. A key tenant has already executed, and another one will be executed here shortly. Which gets us to just shy of 60 percent occupancy for opening (of Phase Two), excluding all that are small shop spaces, which we’re working on. … We are typically self-funded and self-financed, heretofore, so there are other alternatives open to us now. With our leasing activity, we can go out to the market and get funding from a third party.”
He said once Phase Two opens, which is estimated for 2015, that critical mass of retailers “gives the project a different stature in the marketplace, and Tivoli developers can gear up for the next development — more residential with additional retail.”
He said the company’s original timeline saw the project done a few years ago, and it had to make adaptations to its deal structures, economics and merchandising mix. With the recovering economy, he said things could get back on track.
“I think 2014 is going to be a good year,” Done said. “I think that sales will continue to grow in our market. I think that new store openings for national retailers will continue at a steady pace, which is, of course, what we need. All those indicators are good for us. The view is much more cautious after what we’ve been through, but that’s to be expected. I feel we are in a very good place heading into 2014 and 2015. It’s hard to predict too far out, but I think we’re in a much better place. The economy is more stable here, locally, and we’ve learned our lessons.”
SUMMERLIN WORKING TO MEET HOUSING DEMAND
The housing market is getting steadier, and Summerlin is one of the strongest areas in the valley for home sales. It’s currently offering nearly 50 floor plans in a dozen neighborhoods. They include townhouses, condos, single-story homes and semi-custom homes designed by nine builders. Custom home sites are also on the market.
In The Mesa, Summerlin’s southernmost selling village, KB Home, Pulte Homes, Richmond American Homes, Ryland Homes and Woodside Homes offer 16 floor plans in one development called Amado at The Mesa. Homes range to the high $400,000s, with up to 3,085 square feet.
Only two homes remain in Pulte’s Amado Terraza development.
Interest lists are expected to soon be formed for Cielo by Woodside Homes and Monte Bello by Richmond American Homes. Both are planned to open in The Mesa in 2015.
Those who want eco-friendly homes can look at the four remaining homes at Villa Trieste, built by Pulte Homes. Part of Nevada’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum-certified neighborhood, they include solar panels and tankless water heaters.
David Straub, division president for Toll Brothers, which is building the Santaluz neighborhood in The Paseos, said homebuilders’ biggest concern in 2013 was “whether or not what we were all experiencing was real. We’d been through some really tough, lean times in the last six or seven years and (wondered) was the change in momentum real? Was it going to sustain? And thank goodness it did. For 2014, we anticipate to be better and stronger and an increasing level of growth for Toll Brothers and for the market in general.”
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.