Las Vegas Sun

August 31, 2014

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Big office campus set for northwest LV

The Thomas & Mack Development Group said it will develop and manage a 100-acre business park in northwest Las Vegas and will announce its first tenant within weeks.

Mark Bouchard, senior vice president and project director, said "a major Nevada name" will occupy the first building to be developed at Las Vegas Tech Center II, a $125 million project at Buffalo Drive and Smoke Ranch Road owned by Lehman Bros.

The property, formerly owned by the city of Las Vegas, was exchanged for 61.5 acres near downtown, plus $2 million. Lehman Bros. acquired the land when the previous owner, Texas entrepreneur Paul Tanner, defaulted on his loan with the New York brokerage firm.

The land swap occurred on the last business day of 2000. When Lehman Bros. acquired the northwest acreage, it reviewed and accepted a proposal from Thomas & Mack, developers of the McCarran Center business park at Interstate 215 and Warm Springs Road and other projects.

The Thomas & Mack vision for the acreage includes a master plan comprised of 14 one- and two-story buildings with a total of more than 1 million square feet.

The first phase of the project will include two sets of buildings, one a single 90,000-square-foot two-story structure, the other two 50,000-square-foot "flex" buildings that could accommodate office or commercial use.

The larger building is the one that will become home to the Nevada company Bouchard said would be named later. He described it as a well-known company, but he said he would not name it, citing his company's policy of allowing the tenant to make its own announcement. The company will occupy about 40 percent of the building, he said.

Bouchard said the build-out of the entire park would be contingent upon demand, but he said Thomas & Mack, a privately held company managed by longtime Las Vegans Peter and Tom Thomas, is well positioned to use a number of marketing strategies to fill buildings.

Flexibility will be a key to development, Bouchard said, with the property's access to U.S. 95 an appealing feature to potential tenants from out of state.

The buildings will be wired with fiber-optic cable to enhance communications and attract tenants. Bouchard also cited the acreage's proximity to well-established residential communities with a variety of housing options and a network of retail, food establishments and child-care facilities as pluses.

As Lehman Bros.'s agent for the development, Thomas & Mack also will be flexible in its plan, Bouchard said, and may offer build-to-suit facilities or even sell property within the area to qualified developers.

It's Thomas & Mack's first development in the northwest part of the city, giving the company some geographic diversity. Bouchard said because of that diversity and flexibility, his company may be able to accommodate clients it used to have to turn away.

The "Tech Center" name could be a misnomer, Bouchard said, because Thomas & Mack does not intend to deviate from the successful formula it has with the development of McCarran Center. It is keeping the name because the public is familiar with the location of the existing Tech Center, a corridor of medical and professional buildings straddling Tenaya Way between Cheyenne Avenue and Smoke Ranch Road.

The company envisions tenants that are seeking a corporate headquarters location as well as professional or financial firms and large call centers.

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