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Bill Foley nears deal to build hockey practice facility next to Downtown Summerlin

The site has changed, but the plan remains the same.

Bill Foley, owner of Las Vegas’ NHL expansion team, still wants to build his two-rink practice facility in Summerlin. But instead of Far Hills Avenue and the 215 Beltway, Foley has found what he thinks is a better site — one adjacent to Downtown Summerlin.

The team is finalizing a deal with The Howard Hughes Corp. to lease land on Pavilion Center Drive between Rosemary Park Drive and Summerlin Centre Road and hopes to break ground in September or early October on the 105,000-square foot facility.

Foley said he thinks there is enough time to complete the project, estimated to cost from $17 million to $20 million, in time for the team’s inaugural season in October 2017. Foley has a deal with Gillette Construction of Las Vegas to build the facility.

“It’s a terrific location,” Foley said. “It’s right by the restaurants at Downtown Summerlin. Moms will be able to drop their kids off at the rink for practice and go shop or eat and come back when they’re done.”

The practice facility site is adjacent to land the Hughes Corp. has planned for a new baseball stadium for the Las Vegas 51s.

Foley said there are no alterations to the concept from the Far Hills site to Downtown Summerlin. Plans call for two ice sheets, along with a 20,000-square foot NHL-quality locker room, coaches’ offices, a sports medicine area, a players’ lounge and a strength and conditioning area.

The team’s offices for its hockey operations staff, marketing and media relations, corporate sales and ticketing will be located on the second floor.

“Everything will be at one place for the team,” Foley said.

The biggest advantage to the Downtown Summerlin site is the infrastructure — water, sewer, power and cable lines — already is in place.

“It’s also flat,” Foley said. “It will make it easier to build.”

With the new location in Clark County instead of the city of Las Vegas, Foley is working again with his original partner on permits. The first potential site for the practice facility was at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive on county land that was zoned for recreational use.

When progress was too slow for Foley’s liking, he told Rick Cox, his point man on the project, to research alternatives. That led to the Hughes Corp., and the sides agreed on land at Far Hills Avenue in March. But when the Pavilion Center Drive parcel suddenly became available, Cox negotiated an alternative deal with the Hughes Corp.

Clark County commissioners Steve Sisolak and Susan Brager said they don’t see anything that should slow the process this time.

“I anticipate this will get approved rather quickly,” Sisolak said. “It’s a different arrangement from the previous one we had with Bill. We’re not going into the ice rink business. This is just a matter of issuing the proper permits, and from what I understand, everything is already in place in terms of the infrastructure.”

Brager said: “It’s an ideal site. There’s easy access. Plenty of parking already there. And it’s not going to cost the taxpayers anything. This is a private-private partnership between Bill Foley and Howard Hughes (Corp.).”

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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