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Properties in competition for site of new immigration enforcement building

Two proposals to build a new immigration enforcement building on land that is now under-used city property are still competing in an effort to bring 170 federal jobs to downtown Las Vegas.

At least two private properties also submitted bids to the General Services Administration for the project, which calls for a 55,000-square-foot office building for use by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

The Las Vegas City Council is scheduled to discuss one of the city-owned sites next week — a vacant five-acre parcel on Bonanza Road near D Street.

The GSA recently audited the bids and asked that the specifics of this location be “firmed up,” said Scott Adams, chief of urban redevelopment for the city.

That bid is the work of PH ICE LLC, which is made up of the same backers who built Molasky Corporate Center downtown as well as lured an Internal Revenue Service office to the city center.

Under their proposal, the company would buy the Bonanza property for $400,000 and build the immigration offices, which the GSA would then lease.

The proposal requires a “public interest” finding by the City Council, since appraisals of the property varied widely: The high value was $1.2 million, while the low value came in at $370,000. The council is scheduled to discuss the finding Wednesday.

The higher appraisals don’t take into account the condition of the property, Adams said. The parcel contains a rail spur that requires environmental cleanup, and the project, including surface parking, will have to be designed around the tracks.

“There’s a significant cost in readying that site for a building,” he said. “It’s a pretty junky site.”

Construction of the building would employ 250 people in addition to the permanent jobs downtown. If one of the city sites is chosen, a property would be brought back to the tax rolls.

The other city-owned property that’s being offered as a new ICE home is a parking lot at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Clark Avenue.

Under that $2.7 million bid, the one-acre parcel would be acquired from the city’s redevelopment agency by SDA Inc., which has built federal buildings across the West .

The smaller lot size probably would require a “more urban configuration,” including a parking garage, said Steven Van Gorp, deputy director of the Las Vegas business development office.

“They’re really different deals with different developers,” Van Gorp said. “They’re apples and oranges.”

While the SDA site probably would be more expensive than the Bonanza one, he said it would be located immediately south of the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse.

Information from the General Services Administration about the other potential bidders and the timeline for approval was not available.

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