Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 | 1:50 p.m.
A new Las Vegas City Hall just got a little closer to reality today, along with the city's efforts to revitalize the downtown.
The Las Vegas City Council voted today to begin construction on a new city hall building and parking garage downtown, in the area bounded by Lewis Avenue, Clark Avenue, Main Street and First Street. Construction is expected to take 24 to 26 months.
The project's price tag is $146.2 million and Mayor Oscar Goodman said initial work on the project, such as removing existing structures, would begin next month.
In today's action, the city approved the sale of certificates of participation in the bond market for a total of $185 million.
The vote on the bond sale passed on a 5-1 vote, with Councilman Steve Ross abstaining and Councilman Stavros Anthony voting no. Ross said he has been advised by the city's lawyers not to vote on projects involving the city hall because of his efforts to negotiate for union jobs on a new city hall project in his job as secretary-treasurer of the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council.
The project has been touted by the mayor and its other supporters as the starting point in the city's overall downtown redevelopment efforts — and as a way to bring jobs to the city in an ailing economic climate.
Those development efforts include more than $1 billion of projects in Symphony Park, at the nearby old post office building (which is being renovated for the Mob Museum) and a major redevelopment at the site of the existing city hall.
On Nov. 4, the city council approved an exclusive agreement with the Cordish Co. of Baltimore to look at the prospects of building an arena, a casino/hotel and an entertainment district on about 20 acres that includes the existing city hall.
Cordish is looking into the feasibility of building a casino/hotel on the 7.75 acres that is now the city hall and the Stewart Avenue Parking Garage.