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City eyes plan to redevelop east Las Vegas golf course

Updated August 19, 2022 - 1:40 pm

A Las Vegas golf course could be redeveloped into a mix of housing, commercial space and a workforce training center under a plan eyed by city officials.

The Las Vegas City Council this week approved starting exclusive talks with development firm McCormack Baron Salazar on overhauling Desert Pines Golf Club, a city-owned site at Bonanza and Pecos road.

The 180-day negotiation agreement has two 90-day extension options.

Ryan Smith, Las Vegas’ director of economic and urban development, said at a council meeting Wednesday that it would be a “really unique” and “very needed project for Southern Nevada.”

As currently envisioned, the east Las Vegas venture would include at least 1,500 residential units, as well as commercial space, recreational facilities and a site for a workforce training center, all spread around the roughly 100-acre property, according to the agreement.

The housing may encompass single-family, multifamily, affordable and market-rate units, as well as units for people aged 55 and over, the agreement states.

The project could cost more than $500 million, and the developer aims to start horizontal construction in the third quarter of 2023, Dan Falcon, managing director of McCormack’s West Coast operations, told council members.

Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, whose ward includes Desert Pines, told the Review-Journal on Friday that east Las Vegas has been “one of the most significantly impacted” areas in Southern Nevada through the pandemic, both financially and health-wise.

The golf course project would bring “positive change” to the area, including housing, increased commercial services, open space and a community center, she said.

On its website, St. Louis-based McCormack calls itself a for-profit developer of “economically integrated urban neighborhoods.” It boasts more than $5 billion of total investment and 25,000-plus homes nationally.

This week’s vote follows a similar move for Cashman Center earlier this month, as the City Council voted Aug. 3 to launch talks with Tru Development on turning that city-owned site into a mixed-use medical campus.

Located at Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue, Cashman is home to a convention center and a stadium where the Las Vegas Lights soccer team plays.

As currently contemplated, the redeveloped property would include a children’s hospital, medical office space, retail, multifamily residential units and potentially a nongaming hotel, Tru founder Tim Deters told the Review-Journal.

He expects the total project to cost around $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion.

Moreover, Desert Pines wouldn’t be the only golf course in town to be redeveloped.

Homebuilder Touchstone Living purchased the now-shuttered Royal Links golf course in the eastern Las Vegas Valley last year and is turning it into a sprawling community that calls for 1,600-plus homes as well as parks, pools and playgrounds.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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