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How North Las Vegas is becoming an industrial powerhouse

Updated March 21, 2024 - 2:13 pm

While it took much longer than expected, the cliched line of “if you build it, they will come” has finally came to fruition for North Las Vegas.

The city has turned itself into an industrial and commercial powerhouse, backed by a flood of new companies setting up shop at the Apex Industrial Park — which spans a total of 18,000 acres — the latest being Crocs shipping its first shoes from a newly opened 1 million-square-foot facility. On top of this was the recent announcement of a $250 million 14,000-foot water line and wastewater system that will ensure all indoor water used at the complex is recycled and sent back to Lake Mead.

Apex has its roots back some 30 years, and in 2024, companies are now flocking to the area as the entire Las Vegas Valley is experiencing an industrial boom, cracking the top 10 nationwide for new industrial construction for the first time, according to a Commercial Search study.

Apex has approximately 24 million square feet of planned industrial space on the books with 7,000 developable acres still to be tapped. Terri Sheridan, economic development director for the city of North Las Vegas, said the famous line (adapted from the one in the movie “Field of Dreams”) has come true after years of delays, false starts and issues.

“You know it’s not uncommon for us now to be talking to companies from Asia and Europe on a regular basis,” she said. “And a lot of it is the tax climate too, if a company is in another environment where they are more heavily taxed than Nevada, then that is just an instant win for companies looking to locate here.”

Nevada has a number of tax incentives for businesses including no taxes on corporate income or corporate shares as well as no franchise taxes, no personal income, inheritance or gift taxes and no unitary and estate taxes.

Sheridan said the city’s commercial sector is developing around a light industrial base, with a little bit of everything coming to the area. This includes California companies looking to move their logistics and shipping for the West Coast, or relocating all together, to local casinos trying to find extra storage space close to the Strip.

This has all come together combined with a geographical advantage for Apex, situated about 26 miles northeast of the Las Vegas Valley along Interstate 15. CapRock, a California-based industrial developer, recently bought 85 acres at Apex for a planned two-warehouse complex that would total 1.48 million square feet.

“The news is certainly out,” Sheridan said, “and now people are coming to look at Apex and now it’s just a function of when the buildings will be ready and when the land is ready to be developed.”

Speculative commercial buildings are also popping up all over the city and John Ramous, the partner in Nevada for Dermody Properties, just finished the first speculative building at Apex, a 664,000-square-foot facility on 38 acres called LogistiCenter at Miner’s Mesa. Ramous said this is a big shift for the area and signals a new beginning, as the city is no longer trying to recruit companies but starting to filter all the prospective companies coming to them.

“It’s very pioneering and it’s really a testament to Apex,” he said. “And I think what it says is there is now a strong demand in the marketplace for investing in logistics in Southern Nevada, as Southern Nevada has really become a regional hub for logistics.”

With an low vacancy rate of 4.1 percent for industrial in the city, Sheridan said anything that gets built now gets filled incredibly quickly.

North Las Vegas already has 68.3 million square feet of industrial land already developed, 779,981 square feet of office space and 7.2 million of retail, according to data provided by the city. This is a massive increase from just five years ago, when the city had 44 million square feet of industrial inventory and 6.8 million of retail inventory.

Apex still has challenges ahead, Sheridan said, with the biggest being water service for future buildings and tenants. The planned $250 million water line is expected to be complete by September.

Owen Sherwood, who works in the commercial title industry for Fidelity National Title, said the key for Apex dates back to a previous industrial development area, the Las Vegas Speedway — officially known as the Vegas Industrial Park — as a bellwether for future success. Development picked up in that area around 2016 and Sherwood said Apex is now reaping those benefits.

“We got to a point in 2021 and early 2022 where land at the Speedway was being looked at as $38 dollar a foot land,” he said. “So in the course of five years, we basically had the price of land spike there five times.”

Sheridan said this was key, knowing if they continued to offer land, build out the area to the north, companies would continue to come.

“The scenario that we saw with the Las Vegas Speedway industrial area with the idea of building it and they will come, allowing for roads, provide the infrastructure in terms of water and sewer and we saw 900 plus acres get absorbed pretty rapidly, so so city management saw that and made the investment going out to Apex.”

Contact Patrick Blennerhassett at pblennerhassett@reviewjournal.com.

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