Raiders’ stadium vicinity to witness major development
The massive $2 billion, 65,000 fan capacity stadium will not be the only high spot just west of the Las Vegas Strip in US. More developments will be coming up in the long-standing industrial area off Russell Road and Interstate 15.
As work is all about to be over in the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football – the largest event facility in the State – Clark County officials are in talks how the area in and around will change.
The 1.23 square mile area around Allegiant Stadium is known as the stadium district. The borders are south and I-15 to the east, Tropicana Avenue to the north, and the railroad tracks to the west.
The officials are looking at three possible ways of developing the district – land use, transportation options and infrastructure. The officials held meetings with tactical advisory commission comprising area stakeholders, officials and residents.
County Commissioner Michael Naft intimated that talks over the development scenarios are just at the initial stage.
“The stadium is so uniquely positioned, literally right across the street from the world’s most premiere entertainment district so you have to consider that when we talk about what the needs are in the immediate corridors nearby,” Naft informs.
“No doubt there will be dramatic changes to the neighborhood, but you want to do it in a way that it’s not just displacing the businesses that are there,” Naft further asserts.
Naft is firm on ensuring that whatever decision is taken for the area, the County Commission caters to the local experience in the area. He holds this view as the stadium – once completed – will be a feather in the valley’s cap.
“We’re expecting up to 26,000 pedestrians coming to the game from the Strip across Hacienda Avenue, so what’s the likely path a local might take?” Naft questioned.
“I see them more so coming from the West potentially and that’s where I see some opportunity for sort of a local entertainment district over there. So, maybe some more affordable options for both before, during and after the games,” Naft observed.
The Three Scenarios:
Since it is known as the industry and events district, Scenario 1 considers retaining the industrial land use in the area and utilizing it as a parking spot. A parking garage will make the parking area available. Food trucks and pop-up restaurants will keep alive the street life in and around the stadium.
Scenario 1 does not envision any housing area near to the stadium. Few condos and apartments will come up within a mile of the facility.
A year-round transit service will be made available as a form of transportation within the district.
Stakeholders in the area have welcomed the Scenario 1 idea that the land use will be primarily for industrial purpose, keeping distributors and suppliers there.
Taking the entertainment factor into consideration, the stakeholders have opined that they should be concentrated along Hacienda Avenue keeping in mind the pedestrian bridge and likelihood of concentrated foot traffic in the area, all with the security aspect in mind.
Scenario 2 envisages a mixed use industrial district that would reuse and overhaul existing buildings and warehouses in the area. Restaurants, bars and hotels are a part of the Scenario 2 development throughout the district.
Verdant space and walking paths would be introduced throughout the district and more mobility options would be on offer – transit, micro-transit, ride hailing options, scooters, and bikes.
“What’s important for the stadium is that there is no one silver bullet,” Naft said. “You’ll also see the RTC (Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada) playing a role with shuttles similar to what they’ve done for Golden Knights games. Then you’ve got to remember this is one of the first sites of its kind being built post rideshare. I have confidence the stadium will develop that in a way that it’s really accommodating for rideshares, (which) for me, I think is a very viable way to get in and out of events.”
Added attractions for fans in the vicinity of the stadium is important as some fans may decide to hang around and wait for traffic snarls to die down before heading home, Naft said.
The northeast corner of the district would include mega-tourist and entertainment areas, while flexible businesses, training, educational, and arts and crafts spaces and year round indoor food markets, and warehouse lofts/housing would come up in the remaining part of the district.
Stakeholders have welcomed the idea of mixed-use opportunities in and around the district, the entertainment options which would pull people to the district and give enough reasons to the businesses to get attracted.
The stakeholders are worried over the existing adult entertainment establishments within the stadium district and are averse to the idea of including additional adult fare as it is a residential area.
Stakeholders are happy with the transportation scenario in the district as it will be within walking distance, to the advantage of pedestrians, and safe transit and micro-transit options. However, they are concerned over the lack of parking spots and inclusion of electric scooters, as they observed those “are left everywhere by riders”.
The final scenario is a complete redevelopment of the district, with new buildings and utilization.
Hotels, casinos, indoor/outdoor shopping districts, restaurants, night clubs, and multi-family residential units are part of the new development.
Community pocket parks and gathering spaces would be a part of the district. As the pedestrian infrastructure would be streamlined, it would aid vehicles and pedestrians to share the road safely, with some roads being pedestrian-only on days when matches would be held.
“Making pedestrians as comfortable as possible, whether it is coming from the Strip or from other nearby parking lots,” Naft comments.
Stakeholders hailed the idea of mixed-use opportunities, development of a diverse economy with the objective of creating a self-sustaining community included in Scenario 3.
Just like in Scenario 2, the existing adult entertainment establishments in the area were a cause of concern among the stakeholders and they wanted them out.
County officials have not yet discussed what sits fine in the district and what does not, pointed out Naft.
Stakeholders gave thumbs-up to transportation aspects like the walkability and pedestrian-friendliness of the area and the transit and micro-transit options.
The stakeholders are not comfortable with the idea of freeway and the railroad, as they see them as barriers that prevent additional access and mobility.
Naft added that even if a decision is arrived at on how the stadium district will be developed, work is not likely to start in the near future. Several rounds of meetings are yet to be held, and then the planning and construction, he further added.
“I think it’s important that we’re methodical about how this area develops. We have a tremendous asset in the stadium. I think it would be a shame to rush to any sort of conclusion. It’s better to see how things play out,” Naft concluded.
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