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Union Village is ‘the right project at the right time’ for Henderson

With plans to create a multifaceted health care and retail development called Union Village , developers are seeking the Henderson City Council’s approval to purchase 171 acres and begin the project.

“This is the right project at the right time in the right place,” said David Baker, a Southern California developer who is managing partner of Union Village.

On April 7, Baker laid out a vision to create “the first of its kind” development that would have a medical facility and campus alongside retail, residential and cultural amenities. The master plan for Union Village would include medical, residential, entertainment, cultural arts, specialty retail space and a senior retirement community.

The development would be built on the vacant land near U.S. Highway 95 and Galleria Drive, which the city of Henderson owns.

Baker believes this vision would help stimulate Nevada’s economy.

“This is the good news we have been looking for in a bad economic time — a recession,” Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen said. “This is going to revitalize the economy.”

Even though the project is estimated to cost $1.5 billion, Baker projected that more than $10 billion in tax revenue could be generated in 25 years.

“I think we can produce our way out of this (recession),” Baker said. “Nevada is ground zero for the recession. And this project will happen where it’s needed most when it is needed most.”

The project is expected to create 17,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“Direct jobs would be any jobs produced on site,” Baker said. “We will probably have 5,000 to 7,000 construction jobs.”

Baker said indirect jobs might include buying materials from businesses.

Hafen added that these jobs are important because they are nongaming jobs .

“The biggest thing we talk about right now is that we need to diversify the economy,” Hafen said.

Baker said the idea has been a work in progress for about a year and a half.

“Because so many people will be so skeptical (of the idea), we have taken our time,” Baker said.

For about nine months, Baker talked to various city officials about the proposal before going public April 7.

For the first time, Union Village officials are slated to speak at the City Council meeting at 7 p.m. today at City Hall, 240 S. Water St.

The final vote, which would decide whether Union Village could buy the land, could be as early as June 14 .

Once the city approves the purchase, Baker said the project will go forward on how to fund it. Baker hopes the project can be privately financed.

If all goes according to plan, Union Village could begin construction by the end of the year.

“We estimate about 41 months from purchase to the completion of the first phase,” Baker said. “Our goal is to have the property by the end of the year.”

Union Village already has partnered with St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, which is slated to build a new health facility in the village. The new facility would replace the Rose de Lima Campus at 102 E. Lake Mead Parkway.

“In addition to our other services, we are preliminarily planning to build a replacement facility for Rose Dominican, and that will be the anchor for the health facility in the heath care complex,” said Rod Davis, president and CEO of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals. “It will consist of an approximately 214-bed hospital, initially opening with about 154 beds with about 60 beds shelled for future expansion.”

Additional partnerships include Juliet Companies and Penta Group in Las Vegas, Florida-based construction company Haskell, Wisconsin-based health care consultant Hammes, international architecture firm HKS and the Nevada chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, which brings in support from union groups.

When completed, Union Village is slated to have several components.

Union Centre includes the hospital complex.

Union Plaza includes a shopping and office complex with 300,000 square feet of retail shops, restaurants, outdoor cafes, an all-suite hotel, a conference center, apartments, a fitness center and a movie theater.

Union Place includes a senior retirement community for 1,200 residents.

Union Park includes a cultural center with a performing arts center and educational research centers.

The Henderson Space and Science Center, a separate $61 million project, is slated to be built in the Union Park area.

Contact Henderson and Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.

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