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Clark County eyes Southwest Las Vegas for tech and innovation district

More technology and innovation-focused companies could be directed to Southwest Las Vegas as Clark County recently approved plans to develop an innovation district in the area.

The proposed innovation district’s core could be up to 20 acres in size and its objective would be to attract new companies to the eight-square-mile area in Southwest Las Vegas around the 215 Beltway, according to the county. The Clark County Commission approved an action plan to develop the district at its Oct. 3 meeting. Amenities such as public spaces that can host such events as farmers markets could also be included.

The county is seeking to attract a diverse group of companies in a variety of industries to the area including, manufacturing, finance, health care, transportation, renewable energy, communications and information technology as well as creative industries and media production.

Clark County wants to create a specific area of the valley to attract companies in these sectors to make the area more economically resilient and rely less on tourism, said Shani Coleman, director of the Clark County Office of Community and Economic Development.

“We always will be (reliant on hospitality and tourism). I think that’s reality, people need to understand, but is there an opportunity to shift that percentage, so we’re not 75 percent hospitality and tourism so when there’s a crisis in the world we don’t get completely shut down? … That’s where we want to be.”

In general, the innovation district would be in a eight-mile zone, with Russell Road as its northern boundary, Robindale Road as its southern boundary, Decatur Boulevard as its eastern boundary and Durango Drive as its western boundary.

A map of the area included in the Clark County Innovation District. (Clark County)
A map of the area included in the Clark County Innovation District. (Clark County)

There are plans to add a “district core” real estate development that will consist of a 10-to-20-acre campus that will have multiple office buildings, mixed-use space for retail and restaurants as well as walkable outdoor space that can accommodate community events and gatherings.

The exact site and size of the district core is still being determined, Coleman said. The district core could be developed as part of a public-private partnership.

“It’s unrealistic to think that Clark County would try to develop that by themselves,” she said.

The goal for the innovation district is to not just encourage companies to place offices there but also to create spaces where people want to live and work in order to foster a community, Coleman said.

“The innovation district is really about creating an environment where innovation and technology can thrive,” Coleman said. “It’s about creating a sense of place.”

There is already a head start in creating this environment in Southwest Las Vegas as new projects come operational in the area such asUnCommons, the mixed-use development, with retail, office and more than 350 apartment units expected to be complete by early 2024 and the new Durango Casino and Resort that is set to open Nov. 20. This area also has high profile tech-focused developments such as UNLV’s Harry Reid Research and Technology Park — a 122-acre campus with about 93 acres of tech space — and Switch’s Las Vegas campus.

The plans for the new innovation district are still in the early stages as the next step is to form a steering committees to advise on the district’s development, Coleman said.

She said the hope is there would be enough development in the innovation district within three to five years to stabilize its operations and create a reputation for itself.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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