October 4, 2023

Clark County commissioners approve plans for proposed Innovation District

AS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County commissioners approved a proposal to develop an Innovation District in the Southwest part of the Las Vegas Valley in a meeting on Tuesday.

The Office of Community and Economic Development employed design experts to draft a proposal for the 8-square-mile area with the purpose of promoting “economic diversity and development.”

“The whole environment around innovation, those chance encounters that lead to a partnership, that leads to new ideas of becoming reality happen best in physical spaces,” said Martin Leitner with Perkins & Will, a design practice based in Chicago.In a 35-page proposal drafted in May, Leitner and his partner presented the plans to create a community comprised of buildings with small spaces for start-up companies as well as larger spaces for more established corporations. The proposed Innovation District would also be the site of housing for graduate and research student housing, restaurants, coffee houses, and bars for entrepreneurs to meet. Developers would implement a transportation system utilizing shuttle buses or rental city bikes.

However, county commissioners are concerned about developing a project to the scale of what was proposed.

“If there’s any support for doing this, this is a regionally-supported project in Unincorporated Clark County,” said Commissioner Michael Naft. “I think there has to be a realization and an expectation of that. This is not some pet project.”

The proposal cited funding that would come from a number of federal grants and programs, and developers would look to local organizations and businesses to resource the project.

The proposed site for Innovation District runs stretches from Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard to Durango Drive and south to Windmill Lane.

While county commissioners accepted the proposal, they asked developers to detail the proposal with the staffing requirements needed for the project to be successful and research how an Innovation District has benefitted other communities that have implemented a similar vision.

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