The Brightline West’s high-speed rail project from Las Vegas to Southern California recently received a significant federal boost, with the U.S. Department of Transportation approving $2.5 billion in private activity bonding authority. Combined with the $1 billion approval in 2021 the total DOT approval is now $3.5 billion. This follows a $3 billion federal grant from the infrastructure bill. Spanning 218 miles along Interstate 15, the project aims for speeds of up to 186 mph, supporting track construction, job creation, and a high-speed rail corridor. Brightline plans to break ground this year, targeting system completion before the 2028 Olympics. Stations in Hesperia, Apple Valley, and Rancho Cucamonga, California, are part of the plan, benefiting tourism, creating jobs, easing Interstate 15 traffic, and cutting over 400,000 tons of carbon pollution annually.
The City of Henderson, having acquired the 35-acre former Fiesta Henderson casino site for $32 million in 2022, is actively seeking developers for its redevelopment. The city is particularly interested in incorporating an indoor recreational facility capable of hosting sporting events and various entertainment options. Additional desired uses for the property include hospitality, family-focused entertainment, and open spaces for public enjoyment. Jared Smith, the Henderson director of economic development and tourism, envisions this project as a year-round destination and is seeking a like-minded partner. Developers interested in this opportunity should submit their qualifications by February 5th, 2024, with notifications for successful candidates expected in late February or early March.
Despite concerns about economic cooling indicated by recent data, experts suggest a “steady as she goes” scenario for 2024, with the Federal Reserve’s goal of achieving a soft landing seeming plausible as the economy slows without an immediate negative turn. In the article, the director of UNLV’s Center for Business & Economic Research, Andrew Woods, said “For 2024 I think steady as she goes in terms of how businesses continue to make rational choices in a world where interest rates and the costs of doing business, the cost of money, stay high for the foreseeable future.” Nevada’s economic landscape in 2024 is expected to see growth in existing industries, including healthcare expansion and the resort sector, provided discretionary spending remains stable. Despite shifts in the housing market and a psychological impact on homeowners due to flattened or declining home prices, there is a positive outlook in the real estate sector. Moreover, the demand for commercial real estate industrial products remains strong, driven by the significant shift to online purchasing. Regardless of increased interest rates, overall demand remains positive.
KB Home, a Los Angeles-based homebuilder, plans to construct 200 single-family residences in their newest community, named Alton, in Summerlin West’s Grand Park District, spanning 32 acres. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, KB Home purchased the land for $44.7 million. Construction is said to start in the winter of 2024. Plans for the project will feature one-and two-story homes ranging from 1,817 to 3,063 square feet, offering three to five bedrooms. The community is located west of the 215 Beltway and northwest of the Red Rock Resort. Summerlin, renowned as one of the best-selling master-planned communities in the country, was initiated by tycoon Howard Hughes in 1952.
Water districts in California, working alongside farmers, have agreed to significant water usage cuts in exchange for $295 million from the federal government. As a result of the agreement, water levels in Lake Mead are expected to rise. This is a continuation of water conservation already being done, with the lake already up by 40 feet compared to projections made the previous year. The Biden Administration is undertaking the most substantial climate investment in history through the Inflation Reduction Act. The sum of $295 million will be allocated to water districts in California to encourage substantial reductions in water usage. Despite previous disagreements, major users of Colorado River water, including California, have come together to bridge divides. The agreements involve several California water agencies, states, and tribes, committing to conserving up to 643,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead through 2025. The investments are part of the Biden-Harris administration’s comprehensive approach to improve and protect the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River System. These efforts include water conservation, efficiency projects, and environmental protection, with a focus on collaboration among state agencies, tribes, farmers, and water districts.
Brightline West was granted a $3 billion federal grant for its new $12 billion high-speed rail system connecting Las Vegas to Los Angeles. According to Brightline, the trip between the Las Vegas station and downtown L.A. would take 2 hours and 40 minutes. Plans for the 273,000 square foot Las Vegas station include a seven-story parking garage. The 2-story station will be located on Las Vegas Boulevard between Warm Springs and Blue Diamond. President Joe Biden is expected to speak about the grant this upcoming Friday in Las Vegas. The grant is part of the U.S. infrastructure bill, and the remaining balance of the project cost will be financed through tax-exempt private activity, bond allocations, and private capital. This significant award represents a pivotal step towards the high-speed rail initiative, a project dating back to 2005. Senator Rosen, an advocate for the project, highlighted the impact on Nevada’s tourism and transportation, anticipated reduction in traffic, potential new jobs and environmental benefits.
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Cello Tower has unveiled the first renderings of its 32-story residential high-rise condo project which will stand 379 feet tall when completed. The building is a part of the mixed-use development project Origin at Symphony Park in downtown Las Vegas. Cello Tower will offer 240 residences, including penthouses, and over 40,000 square feet of amenities such as an elevated pool, pet spa, and entertainment kitchen. Retail, dining, and public spaces are planned for the surrounding area. One and two-bedroom units start at $700,000 with penthouses beginning at $4.5 million. Construction for the high-rise is expected to be completed by fall 2026. In February of this year, the Las Vegas City Council approved the sale of the land to Red Ridge Development for nearly $12 million.
The Bureau of Land Management conducted an online sale, offering 16 parcels of public land totaling over 600 acres. The BLM successfully sold nine parcels totaling 589.53 acres in the northwest valley, for a total of $93,141,000. Under the terms of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998, 85% of the total funds from the sales will be allocated towards projects such as park development, capital improvements on federal lands, acquisition of environmentally sensitive land, hazardous fuels reduction, and landscape restoration. The remaining 15% will go towards the State of Nevada General Education Fund and the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Among the bidders who purchased parcels of various sizes, developer Lawrence Canarelli purchased the largest parcel up for auction, 505 acres near the west end of Centennial Parkway, for $55 million . Some of the smaller parcels are located near the Kyle Canyon and U.S. 95 interchange. The BLM removed a 225-acre parcel from the sale, due to an appraisal issue. The parcels that were not sold may be re-nominated for consideration in future land sales by the local government.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Harry Reid International Airport has made a significant investment by purchasing 65 acres just south of the airport for $135 million. The site is located at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sunset Road and falls within the airport’s runway protection zone. The land was previously owned by Las Vegas-based company Urban Land Investment. The airport has had an influx of passengers arriving and departing this year. The airport is on a trajectory to reach its capacity of between 63 million and 65 million annual passengers around 2030. The airport’s expansion plans are to accommodate the ever-increasing passenger traffic and could be constructed by 2037 at the earliest.
In October of 2022, Billionaire Tillman Fertitta received approval from Clark County to build a 2,420-room hotel on 6.2 acres at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue. The site was previously home to a Tex-Mex restaurant, souvenir shops, and a Travelodge before Fertitta’s company bought the land for $270 million in June 2022. Almost a year later, building permit applications for the project have been submitted. According to the Clark County records, multiple building permit applications for the proposed 43-story casino-resort project were submitted between March and October 2023. Permits include a base podium that can be used to start constructing the resort and to start the initial phase of building a parking garage. Plans to add pickleball courts were also submitted to Clark County for approval. The permit applications are all still under review.
A new apartment complex, named Parq at Camino, opened last week in North Las Vegas. The 417-unit, 13-building apartment complex is located west of the Craig Ranch Regional Park and south of the 215 Beltway. There are one, two, and three-bedroom units available with rent starting at $1,407. The units range from 837 to 1,299 square feet. Some apartment amenities include covered parking, a dog park, a pool, an indoor and outdoor fitness center, a business center, and picnic areas with barbecue grills. Despite rental rates dropping in parts of the Las Vegas Valley, they have risen over the past few months in North Las Vegas, according to the Review Journal. In the months of July to August this year, rental rates have risen by 0.36% according to a report by Rent.com.