Goodman sees big things ahead for Symphony Park

Think of her as the caretaker mayor.

Nearly three months into her second term as Las Vegas’ top elected official, Mayor Carolyn Goodman admitted she rode husband and former Mayor Oscar Goodman’s coattails into her seventh-floor office. She said she was elected to that post to help see through several high-profile, often publicly subsidized projects the first Mayor Goodman helped hatch.

But that doesn’t mean Goodman is always content to act as the custodian of her husband’s legacy. Nor does it imply she’s moved past her failure to see through the largest project with ties to his tenure — a $200 million, 24,000-seat downtown soccer stadium abandoned by city leaders after Major League Soccer pulled Las Vegas out of the running for an expansion franchise in February.

Speaking during a wide-ranging Aug. 20 interview with the Review-Journal, the 76-year-old mayor reiterated her hopes for bringing professional sports to downtown Las Vegas, throwing her full support behind a newly unveiled, privately financed bid to host a professional soccer franchise at Cashman Field, the decades-old home of the Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball team.

In fact, Goodman said, she always wanted to use Cashman to that end, but deferred to downtown stadium plan backer Justin Findlay’s dream to build in Symphony Park — the 61-acre former downtown railroad yard the city has spent some $100 million to clean up in the hopes of attracting long-promised development.

The mayor also confirmed discussions to land a large, unidentified state agency’s headquarters at the park, where developers at the Molasky Group hope to build up to 300,000 square feet of office space over the next several years.

Molasky said it plans to pay taxes on its building regardless of which government entities move in, a decision that helped win the group support from conservative city leaders who have long criticized attempts to host nonprofit, non-taxpaying tenants that do not help the city pay off the park’s bond-funded infrastructure improvements.

Big project hinted

Goodman went on to promise an “enormous” private development to be unveiled somewhere outside of downtown sometime in October, but cited ongoing negotiations in declining further comment on the effort.

Bringing in such a project could eventually pay political dividends for Goodman, who said she couldn’t rule out a run for a third term in 2019.

Failing to do so could play right into the hands of her political opponents, some of whom have already accused her of piggybacking on her husband’s downtown accomplishments — including agreements to build the Mob Museum, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health — in a shallow bid for votes. That campaign approach didn’t work very well for top mayoral challenger and City Councilman Stavros Anthony, whom Goodman eventually topped by 13 points at the polls this year.

Pressed on that point during her re-election campaign, Goodman — who framed her candidacy around promises to keep up the city’s redevelopment momentum — couldn’t name an uninherited project she had helped shepherd into downtown.

She didn’t see the need to take another shot at the question last month.

“There’s no shot,” Goodman said. “I was elected to continue what Oscar started.

“I can assure you, had someone else gone into office at that time, some of the projects could have gone asunder.”

Driving development

It’s not difficult to imagine who Goodman fears would have dragged down those projects.

Anthony, Goodman’s former right-hand man and one-time front-runner for her seat, built his mayoral campaign around a platform of stopping public subsidies for the mayor’s stadium and staunching the flow of taxpayer dollars into downtown revitalization projects.

Long a cheerleader for downtown redevelopment, Goodman made a point of citing some $1.2 billion in “revitalization” and 31,283 new jobs she said her policies have helped bring to Las Vegas’ downtown redevelopment areas.

The mayor made sure those figures — which come from estimates provided to the city, unaudited, by downtown developers — played prominently in two TV campaign ads that suggested there would have been no such growth under Anthony.

A city spokesman made use of similar downtown growth numbers in August, adding them to a bullet-point list of development projects that featured more than a dozen privately owned restaurants, coffee shops and breweries opened in the downtown area since Goodman took office in 2011.

Some of those businesses benefited from tax breaks and financing tools provided by the city’s oft-criticized redevelopment agency. Others either cut their own path to downtown or were nursed to life by the Downtown Project, a private redevelopment initiative founded with $350 million in financial backing from Zappos shoe magnate Tony Hsieh.

‘Big year’ to come

The mayor had much more to do with two controversial projects that weren’t on the list.

One, a pedestrian bridge spanning Main Street at the park’s northern border, will cost an estimated $9 million to build. There is no development underway at the northern end of Symphony Park, where developers and city staff have long promised a 1.6 million-square-foot hotel-casino and hundreds of residential housing units near the future bridge construction site.

The other — a divisive, stadium-related parking garage to be built with sales taxes collected largely from a nearby outlet mall — faced opposition from city and county leaders as well as members of the Nevada Tourism Commission. Appointees to each of those boards have expressed concern that the district-funded proposal could amount to a “disingenuous application” of state law, because it relies on revenue from an already completed mall expansion project. Goodman now says revenue from the district could be sufficient to fund a pair of garages in Symphony Park.

The big ticket non-infrastructure developments planned during the mayor’s tenure — new plans for a downtown modern art museum, recently approved blueprints for a downtown state Supreme Court building — only jumped off the drawing board in August.

Still other rehabilitation projects, such as competing proposals to host either a drone testing dome or a soccer team at Cashman Field, are little more than concepts at this point.

Despite the uncertainty, Goodman expects Las Vegans have a “big year” ahead of them.

Maybe casino owner Derek Stevens, who recently purchased the Las Vegas Club, will build some downtown convention space, she hinted. Perhaps the owners of the Downtown Grand will plow ahead with a long-awaited retail project next to the Mob Museum? It’s not out of the question that out-of-state developers will start to follow through on their grand plans in Symphony Park, she said. Goodman has heard the fears about squeezing out that potential growth by allowing further nonprofit development in the park.

She knows she stands accused of throwing good money after bad in the city’s redevelopment area.

By and large, the mayor remains unmoved. As long as the business is hiring, Goodman plans to keep her door open to anyone who’s serious about setting up shop downtown.

“I’m very big about show me the money, put the shovel in the ground,” she said, echoing a line often used by her husband. “Our purpose is to help (developers) find a location.

“What has to be driven is quality of life. People who work here will spend here.”

Contact James DeHaven at jdehaven@reviewjournal or 702-477-3839. Find him on Twitter: @JamesDeHaven.

KEY GOODMAN DATES

June 1999: Oscar Goodman elected mayor.

October 2005: Symphony Park opens for business.

December 2005: City signs project management deal with California-based Newland Communities, which has long planned to build as many as 2,100 homes and thousands of square feet of retail shopping at the park.

February 2007: Workers break ground on the $70 million Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which opens in May 2010.

January 2008: City approves tax incentives for World Jewelry Center, an as-yet-undeveloped 1.4 million-square-foot residential and retail tower in Symphony Park. Las Vegas-based developers at the Molasky Group express interest in developing office space on the property.

March 2008: Las Vegas signs development agreement with the Charlie Palmer Group to build a “luxury boutique hotel” at the park. Those plans have not come to fruition.

May 2008: Master development agreement signed to build Las Vegas’ now 4-year-old, $146 million City Hall. The deal cleared a path for Cleveland-based City Hall developer Forest City Enterprises to draw up plans for a still undeveloped 1.6 million-square-foot hotel-casino complex in Symphony Park’s northwest corner.

May 2009: Crews break ground on the $470 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The center opened in March 2012.

August 2010: Smith Center President Myron Martin announces plans to build the Discovery Children’s Museum with a $43 million gift from the Reynolds Foundation. The museum opened in March 2013.

June 2011: Carolyn Goodman elected mayor.

February 2012: The Mob Museum, built with millions in local, state and federal tax dollars arranged under Oscar Goodman’s tenure, opens near Stewart and Ogden avenues.

March 2012: City Hall opens. The facility — another project planned while Oscar was in office — was built with the help of $188 million Las Vegas borrowed from outside investors.

May 2012: City signs deal with Citra Real Estate Capital LLC to build a $71 million skilled nursing and assisted living center on roughly 3 acres near the Cleveland Clinic. Citra is yet to break ground on the project.

May 2013: City leaders open a roughly $6 million pedestrian bridge spanning railroad tracks that separate the City Hall parking garage and surface parking at the Smith Center.

September 2014: Las Vegas leaders extend construction deadlines on Downtown3rd, a 425,000-square-foot retail development next to the Mob Museum.

January 2015: City Council approves a deal to draw up blueprints for a second pedestrian bridge spanning the railroad just south of the Plaza.

April 2015: Divided council members approve controversial $25 million stadium-linked, sales tax-funded parking garage near the Smith Center.

August 2015: City Council members agree to help fund a proposed $35 million modern art museum on an as-yet-unnamed parcel in Symphony Park.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Robotics takes off at Las Vegas Academy
Las Vegas Academy’s robotics team made it all the way to the world competition last year, the first year the team competed. Zackary Perry describes how they programmed their robot to compete. The team is an example of what Tesla wants to have in every school in the state. (Meghin Delaney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
Cybersecurity Professionals Flock to Las Vegas for Black Hat
Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting a record 17,000 attendees during its six-day run at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. One thing attendees have in mind is making sure they don't get hacked while they're there. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police chase ends with suspects captured in east Las Vegas
An early Tuesday morning chase ended with a car crash in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. Police were pursuing the vehicle, which they say was involved in robberies in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, when the driver crashed at Owens and Statz Street. A man was taken into custody. A woman was ejected from a vehicle and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The intersection at Mojave Road and Owens Avenue was shut down while police officers searched for the suspect and investigated. The intersection will remain closed for most of the morning.
Record number participate in Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony
Three hundred sixty-five medical students received their white coats during the Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony at the M Resort in Henderson Monday. The ceremony was developed to honor students in osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy as they accept the professional responsibilities inherent in their relationship with patients. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stop for school buses, urges CCSD
Clark County School District Police Department hold a mock traffic stop at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Work Begins at Las Vegas Community Healing Garden
Crews moved the wooden Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden on South Casino Center Boulevard Monday. Construction on a permanent wall is set to begin within the week. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Man wounded outside Cottages apartment
Las Vegas police don't have a motive after a man was shot early Monday morning outside a northwest valley apartment. The man's mother called police to say her son had been shot. She called police around 1:15 a.m. Other people were inside the apartment but no one else was injured. Police are still looking for the shooter.
Ride new Interstate 11 segment in one minute
Interstate 11 opens to the public Thursday, providing sweeping views of Lake Mead, art deco-style bridges and a mural illustrating the construction of Hoover Dam. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Miss El Tiempo 2019
Miss Teen El Tiempo and Miss El Tiempo 2019 were crowned at Sam's Town Saturday, August 4, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Las Vegas Woman Raises Awareness for Anxiety and Depression
Cassi Davis was diagnosed with anxiety and depression after the birth of her second child. After seeking help and support, she felt that there wasn't enough for support for those living day in and day out for those with mood disorders. She created the Crush Run, set for Sept. 22, to raise money for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and bring together a community of people who live with the same conditions she does. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
North Las Vegas marks the opening of Tropical Parkway connector
The City of North Las Vegas, Nevada Department of Transportation and other partners celebrated the opening of the Tropical Parkway connector to Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Beltway. The stretch of road will make access easier for distribution centers for Amazon, Sephora and other companies moving into an 1,100-acre industrial area rising near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bighorn sheep with West Temple in background at Zion National Park
A bighorn sheep walks through Zion National Park (National Park Service)
Adult Superstore location closes after 45 years
The Adult Superstore on Main Street has closed its doors for good after 45 years. The shop, which offered a multitude of adult toys, novelty items and movies, opened in 1973. Four other locations remain open. A note on the front door tells customers, “We can’t fully express our sorrow.” Adult Superstore was awarded Best of Las Vegas adult store by the Review-Journal in 2016 and 2017 .
Funeral held for Las Vegas corrections officer
Department of Public Safety Correctional Officer Kyle Eng died July 19 after a fight with an inmate at the Las Vegas Jail. A funeral was held for Eng at Canyon Ridge Christian Church Monday, July 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What Back-To-School Shopping Is Like For a CCSD Parent and Teacher
Laura LeBowsky, a CCSD special education teacher and mother of two, set out to shop for her children's supply lists at her local Walmart and Target. She was looking for deals to try to keep the total under $150, while also allowing Chloe, 8, and Brady, 6, some choice in what they wanted. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Businesses struggle to fill food manufacturing jobs
Chelten House is a family-owned food manufacturing company from New Jersey. They created a facility in Vegas five years ago and have struggled to find experienced workers in the area. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LeBron heckler crosses line, altercation erupts
NBA superstar LeBron James, his wife, Savannah, and daughter Zhuri were at Liberty High School to watch Bronny James in action Wednesday night. But an unruly fan wearing a Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey heckled the newest Los Angeles Laker. The man screamed at event security with LeBron and his family about 150 feet away. The man had to be restrained, triggering a brief altercation with security. James and his family were escorted out a side door along with Bronny's team, the North Coast Blue Chips. Event officials canceled the game between the Blue Chips and Nike Meanstreets.
Local
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like