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Howard Hughes Corp. CEO Weinreb talks Summerlin real estate

Las Vegas baseball fans will have a new stadium in Summerlin for their local team next season, and plenty of options for eating and drinking before or after games.

At the center of it all, one company in particular stands to benefit: Summerlin developer Howard Hughes Corp.

Howard Hughes is developing the 10,000-fan capacity Las Vegas Ballpark, future home of the Las Vegas Aviators. The minor-league team is owned by the company, and the stadium is across the street from the Hughes-developed Downtown Summerlin mall. Even the Aviators’ logo includes a portion of Summerlin’s mountain-range logo in the pilot’s visor.

Dallas-based Howard Hughes has also laid out plans for a 14-story hotel next to the ballpark, part of its goal of developing 200 acres of land just east of its open-air mall off Sahara Avenue and the 215 Beltway. The suburban land is partially built out already, and the company has said that it envisions offices, retail space and residential offerings there.

After the baseball team’s new name and logo were unveiled Saturday, Howard Hughes CEO David Weinreb spoke with the Las Vegas Review-Journal about real estate in Summerlin, Las Vegas’ largest master-planned community at 22,500 acres.

The interview was edited for length and clarity.

Do you have a timeline for when you’d break ground on the hotel, or if not that, what would be the next project on the 200 acres?

We don’t have a timeline really on anything else yet, but we’re working tirelessly to push multiple initiatives. That includes more apartments, based on demand; more office space, based on demand; ultimately, it also will include a hotel facility, if we believe the demand exists and there’s the right market.

Does the company plan to develop everything itself there or to sell chunks of land to other developers?

Our love is here to stay, and so is The Howard Hughes Corporation. We intend to develop it all ourselves and to own it long into the future.

What, if any, kind of spillover impact do you expect from the ballpark being built?

When you look at studies that talk about economic development and what it means for a new stadium, we all want to convince ourselves that if you put a stadium somewhere, it’s going to change the financial outcome of all the businesses around it. I can’t tell you that such a study exists in that way, but we felt strongly about the importance of community when we purchased the team, and the impact that it would have on our long-term commitment to Summerlin. We also feel strongly that having a facility that’s going to attract up to 10,000 people as many as 70-plus or 80-plus times a year would be a great community initiative and a way to really focus our energy here in Downtown Summerlin.

It’s a similar question, but what, if any, impact would you expect the baseball team’s arrival to have on Summerlin’s homebuilding market?

What I can tell you is that we felt strongly that having our own downtown — a vibrant place for people to come with their families, with their pets, on their bikes, to walk, to play, to relax — was an important part of the vibrancy and the community nature of building any great, small city.

Do you have a projected timeline for how long it would take to build out all 200 acres next to the mall?

If you can fill it up, we’ll build it out quicker than you know. This is really all about being thoughtful, being pragmatic, and making sure that everything we build can stand the test of time.

Let’s switch gears and talk about how home and land sales are doing in Summerlin compared to other master-planned communities you’re developing in other states.

Summerlin’s been a shining star, and we have great confidence with all the development and the money that’s been committed long into the future, between the Raiders stadium, the Las Vegas Convention Center project, new hotels and more. The whole region is going to prosper, and we’re excited to earn our fair share of that.

You recently broke ground on a 55-story office building in Chicago. Would you envision doing anything similar to that in Las Vegas?

We don’t have plans to build a 50-, 60-story tower here, but we do think that we can have a vibrant office community here, an apartment community, where people are living, working and playing, and they can really enjoy the true urban experience.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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