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Why construction is booming in the southwest Las Vegas Valley

Updated April 3, 2024 - 5:52 pm

Down in the southwestern part of the Las Vegas Valley, construction crews are impossible to miss as unincorporated Enterprise and its encompassing enclave boom with a host of new commercial and residential development.

“This area is really evolving,” said Scot Marker, a broker with Cushman & Wakefield who specializes in retail. “If you lived close to Mountain’s Edge, you used to have to drive 10 to 15 minutes to get a decent meal. And now this area is really evolving and it’s showing maturity in our market, it’s not just fast food and chain restaurants, we’re seeing some really thoughtful developments.”

Marker pointed to two recent projects in the area as a crowning achievement for the southwest’s metamorphosis and helping it become one of the fastest-growing areas in the country: the Durango Resort & Casino, a locals casino which opened in November, and UnCommons, a mixed-use development that has been opening in phases over the past few years and includes retail, restaurants, an open air courtyard and office buildings and high-end rental units in what he said emulates a small downtown core.

“I think what UnCommons really did was solidified the execution of what that area wants to be,” he said. “And you have a really good melting pot of developers with different perspectives.”

More than half of all the retail completions in the Las Vegas Valley since 2023 have occurred in the southwest submarket, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield. Since last year the area has added 128,488 square feet of retail space alone, with more than 6,000 additional square feet currently under construction.

Summerlin is a model for southwest valley

Some of the credit has to go to Howard Hughes Holdings, Marker said, and its Summerlin master-planned community for showing that mixed-use developments that include everything from office space and walkable retail to sporting venues offering “fresh perspectives” can work. He said new styles of layout, architecture and design have now been proven to work in Las Vegas over the past few years — a market previously dominated by more traditional development projects — and the southwest valley is now leading the charge.

Proximity and geography, and previously undeveloped land in the southwest valley have come together for a perfect storm, said Owen Sherwood, who works in the commercial title industry for Fidelity National Title. Sherwood said as other areas of the valley filled out, it created demand in a previously underserved area that became a centerpoint “between two forces of gravity.”

“And kind of all of a sudden, we have two major centers of our workforce now being Summerlin and Henderson, and this little pocket being right in the middle of these two centers of our workforce,” he said. “And if you look at the UnCommons office building, for example, a lot of the tenants that are now there used to be at the Hughes Center at Paradise and Flamingo (roads). And so now you have an easily accessible amenitized area that employees can get in and out of easily and they don’t have to go down into the city to do that, the commute is shorter, their working environment just becomes that much richer.”

Sherwood added larger market forces are also at play here as the work-from-home revolution brought on by the pandemic has thrown the traditional office model for a loop.

“That work-from-home dynamic that is causing a lot of trouble in major inner city office markets that have high vacancy rates that are causing landlords a lot of trouble, now we’re having speculative office development going on in the southwest and these buildings are largely getting leased up, which is a really positive note for the office market and kind of bucking a national trend in a way.”

Construction crews have become a mainstay in the area, choking traffic at some points during rush hours, however Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones said he’s been working closely with Commissioner Michael Naft in investing hundreds of millions of dollars towards “enhancing road infrastructure and fostering economic development and innovation in the southwest valley.”

Some of the Clark County Public Works infrastructure projects recently completed or currently under construction in the southwest (Districts A or F) total approximately $290 million. The county has also invested more than $1 million for the planning and digital infrastructure for the Innovation District (which encompasses eight-square-mile area in southwest Las Vegas around the 215 Beltway), and more than $600,000 for planned redevelopment of the Spring Mountain corridor and infrastructure planning for a multimodal industrial hub in Sloan, which is located south of the Southern Highlands.

“We are also excited for the opportunity to build out new recreation centers, community parks and trail networks to ensure that the southwest valley continues to the very best place to live, work and raise a family,” he said.

Contact Patrick Blennerhassett at pblennerhassett@reviewjournal.com.

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