Three other Southern Nevada Downtowns: Henderson, Summerlin and North Las Vegas

Scott Green, Executive Chef at Robert Irvine’s Public House, prepares a fish dish under the watchful eyes of attendees during Henderson’s Last Friday, Just Add Water Street on Friday, September 22, 2017.

Summerlin Gets Urban

Downtown Summerlin is rapidly becoming deserving of its downtown name. Across Pavilion Center Drive from the outdoor mega-mall packed with Trader Joe’s, Regal Luxury movie theaters, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar and Crate & Barrel, an actual urban center is on the way, anchored by two venues capitalizing on the latest Vegas craze: pro sports. City National Arena, the home-away-from-T-Mobile of the Vegas Golden Knights, is packed every day with hockey-crazed locals, and last month Howard Hughes Corporation broke ground on its neighbor, the Las Vegas Ballpark—the future home to the 51s.

Downtown Summerlin already has the Red Rock Resort, Life Time Athletic, one big office building and another under construction, plus the site’s first residential building (luxury apartments at the Constellation). Another apartment complex will soon take shape closer to Sahara, and the coming years will see these 400 acres fleshed out with high-density housing, small cafés, bars and neighborhood businesses. The walkable fun on the retail half of the development has proven irresistible, exactly the kind of free-and-easy environment you find in the hip downtown entertainment districts of other cities. Baseball (and hockey) will provide the big-event draw it’s missing while the focus on sports keeps everything family friendly. It will be unlike anything else in Las Vegas, and certainly different from our perceptions of Summerlin. –Brock Radke

Dive Into Water Street

Henderson was “born in America’s defense” in 1941, a hasty township formed around the Basic Magnesium Plant. (Its namesake metal was used for aircraft, ammunition and bombs.) Henderson’s main drag, Water Street, was named for the pipeline that pumped water to that magnesium facility. It might sound awkward today, but to paraphrase John Irving, who has the time to name streets when there’s a war going on?

Today, Water Street is a quietly bustling affair, a mix of civic buildings, neighborhood casinos (Rainbow Club, Emerald Island and Eldorado) and numerous small businesses ranging from antique shops to barbers to sewing machine supply shops. Two major local bus routes stop here, and the stops for these buses sit along freshly planted trees and ornate streetlight posts on near-pristine sidewalks. In other words, Water Street is ripe for a 21st-century reinvention—and little by little, it’s happening.

Granted, there’s not a ton here yet, though what is here is top-shelf stuff. Lovelady Brewing has its tap room here, serving up its beloved, award-winning 9th Island pineapple sour. The Gold Mine Tavern offers deep drink specials, live music on an enclosed patio and free pool on Wednesdays. Recently opened Public Works Coffee Bar offers local roasts and craft beers in a sleek, handsome urban setting. And on the last Friday of each month, the Just Add Water Street outdoor party brings together local art, music and food trucks in a celebration worthy of a historic thoroughfare. –Geoff Carter

Revitilization in the North

North Las Vegas Councilman Isaac Barron used to play as a child in the dirt lot where Maya Cinemas is building its 14-theater complex near Las Vegas Boulevard North and Civic Center Drive. That’s just the beginning of redevelopment, he hopes. Barron is coordinating with Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown, Economic Development Director Gina Gavan and community members with hopes of revitalizing downtown. The North Las Vegas project is being assisted by a $1.2 million community development block grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development designed to foster community input and develop public-private relationships to drive economics. Here’s what North Las Vegas is eyeing for its downtown:

Maya Cinemas: The 14-theater complex is located across the street from city hall and is expected to open in December. The complex will also develop retail and commercial space.

Dutch Bros: The cult coffee chain will open its second location in Southern Nevada across from city hall and adjacent to the new theater.

Ross Dress for Less: The discount store opened this month in a commercial retail space near the Silver Nugget.

The Washington Continuation School: This building will be renovated into a community flex space that can stage art exhibits, community meetings and more.

The North Las Vegas Library: The city council just approved the first architectural drafts of the remodel that will be the focal point of the Milestone Park.

Charter schools: Five new charter schools are due to open in North Las Vegas. Two are pegged for downtown.

Expertise Beauty: The second location of an expanding local North Las Vegas cosmetology school will help diversify the economy.

Senior living: North Las Vegas will gain two complexes dedicated to the continuation of care for older residents. Buena Vista Springs will be an affordable senior-living campus, while an upgraded Rose Gardens complex will replace the older one across the street. –Camalot Todd

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