Phase One Infrastructure Groundbreaking at Union Park Marks Dawn of New Downtown for Las Vegas

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Led by Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, an April 24 ceremonial groundbreaking in downtown Las Vegas marked the commencement of phase one infrastructure construction at Union Park, an 11-million-square-foot, $9 billion, mixed-use urban development in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.

It's a place that is being created for those who live and work in southern Nevada

Led by Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, an April 24 ceremonial groundbreaking in downtown Las Vegas marked the commencement of phase one infrastructure construction at Union Park, an 11-million-square-foot, $6 billion, mixed-use urban development in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.

According to Rita Brandin, senior vice president and development director for Newland Communities, the groundbreaking ceremony is the culmination of years of work. Newland Communities was retained by the city of Las Vegas in December 2005 to serve as development manager for Union Park and oversee day-to-day development on behalf of the city.

The groundbreaking ceremony, underwritten in part by project partners, marked the installation of $7.8 million in infrastructure improvements. Infrastructure development is taking place on the southern portion of Union Park, and completion is scheduled by year-end.

"Union Park is an impressive collection of third-party projects that, collectively, will re-shape and re-invigorate the historic heart of our city," said Brandin. "These project partners are among the country's leading developers with names that resonate and projects that will forever change the Las Vegas skyline."

Union Park project partners to date include:

  • Lou Ruvo Brain Institute: 60,000 SF , Frank Gehry-designed building; world-class research and treatment center for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease.
  • The Smith Center for the Performing Arts: 379,000 SF, $400 million, David Schwarz-designed performing arts center to house Nevada Ballet Theatre; Las Vegas Philharmonic, Broadway touring groups
  • World Jewelry Center: 2 million SF, 50+ story tower for the international and domestic gem and jewelry trade; developed by Probity International of Beverly Hills, CA
  • The Charlie Palmer: 400-room boutique hotel developed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer with City-Core Development
  • Casino/hotel: 1,000-room, 60,000 SF hotel with gaming; developed by Forest City; plus 300,000 SF of planned retail
  • Residential development by Newland Communities: 3,200 urban-style housing units consisting of brownstones, condominiums and lofts

Beyond the immediate infrastructure groundbreaking, planned 2008 milestones include the year-end completion of the first medical building for Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, as well as a groundbreaking for The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The World Jewelry Center plans to finalize pre-construction activities this year in preparation for an early 2009 groundbreaking.

"Union Park is quickly moving from paper to reality," Mayor Goodman said. "It's a place that is being created for those who live and work in southern Nevada," he said. "Yet, it's so exciting it will attract many of the city's 40 million-plus visitors." Click here for a New York Times article on Union Park.

About Union Park
Union Park is a 61-acre mixed-use master-planned urban center located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas on land owned by the City of Las Vegas. Newland Communities, a privately owned national real estate developer with offices in more than 20 U.S. cities and more than 40 developments underway in 14 states, is acting as development manager. Considered the single most important element of the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas, Union Park is anchored by two key public initiatives, the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute designed by famed architect, Frank Gehry; and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, designed by architect David Schwarz. Other major projects include The Charlie Palmer, a 400-room boutique hotel; World Jewelry Center, a 1-million-square-foot trade tower for the international and domestic gem and jewelry industry; more than 3,200 residential units by Newland Communities and a casino/hotel and retail space by Forest City. Planned to encompass more than 11 million square feet of office, medical, residential, retail and hotel/hospitality space, Union Park has a value of approximately $6 billion and a build-out of approximately 11 years (2018). The land use plan calls for approximately 2.1 million square feet of office and medical space; 5.2 million square feet of residential space; three hotels totaling approximately 1.6 million square feet in 1,750 rooms; and more than 500,000 square feet of retail. http://www.unionparkvegas.com.

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