Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman delivered the annual State of the City Address on January 9 in Las Vegas City Hall Council Chambers.
Year Of Downtown
Mayor Goodman kicked off what was known as the “Year of Downtown” because of projects like The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, The Mob Museum and City Hall opening. The year 2012 has nothing on 2020 according to Mayor Goodman, because of everything coming to our city now.
The highlights include downtown’s newest property Circa, scheduled to open this year. Circa is downtown’s first newly built hotel-casino since the 1980s and includes a 459-foot-tall tower, 777 new rooms, a massive sports book, multiple swimming pools, bars and restaurants.
Mayor Goodman also lauded the $32 million upgrade to the Fremont Street Experience canopy, and spoke about the new Downtown Grand tower being built just north of the canopy.
Of course, the mayor is also excited about the grand opening of the new 350,000-square foot International Market Expo Center. This is a keystone development in terms of convention space in our downtown and bringing major trade shows to the heart of the city. It is set to open this summer.
Other highlights are the new residential developments, including two complexes on Symphony Park and ShareDOWNTOWN in the 18B Las Vegas Arts District.
Mayor Goodman also spoke about the new Municipal Courthouse being constructed across the street from City Hall. The $56.3 million courthouse will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver standards. It will house a traffic court, six additional courtrooms, city attorneys' offices, court administration, classrooms and public spaces.
Just down the road from Symphony Park to the south, past the newly renovated Palace Station hotel-casino, the city will see the opening of the multi-sensory music, art and entertainment complex known as Area 15. Featuring a bamboo Volcano lounge, virtual reality offerings, and indoor and outdoor event spaces, Area 15 is like nothing else in Las Vegas. There is a 7,000-square-foot room that has 360-degree projection capabilities, allowing you to enjoy a drink in outer space or under the ocean. It will also be home to a large-than-life festival–style sculpture garden that would be at home at Burning Man or Life is Beautiful. In addition, it will house its anchor tenant, the eclectic and popular Meow Wolf art exhibition.
Mayor Goodman also spoke about plans for the Las Vegas Medical District and the forthcoming UNLV School of Medicine.
Another highlight was all of the new infrastructure projects that are wrapping up and getting started in 2020. Many of the projects involve widening sidewalks, adding mature trees and bike lanes to downtown areas. Mayor Goodman mentioned the Main Street Improvement Project as an example of what these complete streets programs can accomplish. This project created a beautiful streetscape where businesses are flourishing. Able Baker Brewing, a partnership with our Vegas Golden Knight Ryan Reaves, CraftHaus and the nearby Garagiste Wine Room are just a few of the new businesses in the area.
Very soon, the reimagined Third Street will be completed, and the city will begin work on Las Vegas Boulevard from Sahara Avenue to U.S. 95. Also on Las Vegas Boulevard in 2020, the city will install and unveil our new Gateway Arch that will be located near Bob Stupak Avenue, south of the popular Showgirl sign. The arch is going to evoke the glitter, glamour and neon that made Las Vegas famous.
Another major street project that is well underway is Project Enchilada. This project is refreshing historic Fremont Street from Las Vegas Boulevard east to 14th Street in Phase 1. Like the Main and Third street projects, Project Enchilada will be adding trees and creating wider sidewalks where restaurants can have outdoor seating.
The owners of the historic motels along this stretch of Fremont are refurbishing their properties and adding art installations as part of this public-private collaborative concept. Once the infrastructure is in place, this is going to be a beautiful area ripe for retail development, resulting in a more robust and lively downtown community.
Fergusons Downtown is an example of the kind of unique developments that the city wants to bring to Fremont Street. A former motel site is now a mini neighborhood hosting popular events and popular restaurants and like Hatsumi and La Monja as well as Mothership Coffee.
The mayor also focused on bringing new technologies and industry to the city. The heart of the Innovation District is the new International Innovation Center @Vegas. The city of Las Vegas continues to be a hub for innovation and technology with the opening of this 11,000-square-foot center for established and emerging tech companies developing smart technologies.
The center supports and houses companies in the fields of Internet of Things, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, cyber security, water technology and autonomous vehicles. The center is already home to multiple companies, including non-profit, for profit and international partners. Once a company’s lease term is complete, the city’s Economic and Urban Development department can work with tenants to secure and move into available space in the downtown Las Vegas area or elsewhere in the city. The goal is to build a long-term relationship with innovative companies to develop cutting-edge technologies that enhance quality of life for everyone in Las Vegas.
Improving Quality Of Life
Improving the quality of life in Las Vegas is why the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas Life was created. Focused on livability, innovation, the future and education, the fund is a vehicle for partners to invest in solutions that address the community’s most pressing challenges.
The Mayor’s Fund helps projects like Strong Start Go, a mobile pre-kindergarten program that brings learning directly to communities most in need. The Mayor’s Fund also supports programs like Las Vegas Connected, assisting families living in public housing with internet access.
The Mayor’s Fund also helps support the city’s Courtyard Homeless Resource Center. The center is currently open in a limited capacity, and in 2021, the city plans to open a completed Courtyard that will continue the work of connecting those in need with services that can help them to break the cycle of homelessness.
The fully built out Courtyard will allow for 800 guests at a time and will continue to be a “low-barrier” shelter, meaning anyone can gain entrance to the facility. It will include a covered outdoor area, a guest services building, a day room, laundry services, medical and mental health services and additional wrap-around services. We will break ground on this project this year.
Mayor Goodman also gave a heartfelt thank you to the community for all of the love and support she received as she was treated for breast cancer in 2019, and reiterated that she is ready for 2020 and beyond.