Wednesday, May 6, 2009 | 3:17 p.m.
The Las Vegas City Council approved agreements and funds today for the $245 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts, which could begin construction later this month.
Plans for the Smith Center, a public-private partnership, place it in the 61-acre Union Park, a mixed-use, master-planned urban center in downtown Las Vegas.
The votes were unanimous at this morning's city council and redevelopment agency meetings.
A groundbreaking is tentative on May 26 for the 4.76-acre cultural complex that will feature music, theater and dance companies celebrating cultures from all over the world.
The center's projected opening is early 2012.
Money for the center comes from $105 million from city of Las Vegas bonds backed by a rental car tax, $68 million in bond monies from the city's redevelopment agency, and $75 million downpayment by the Don W. Reynolds Foundation.
The center will have a 2,050-seat multipurpose main hall and an education building that will house a 300-seat cabaret theater, and a 200-seat flexible studio theater for rehearsals, children's theater and community events.
"The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is the cornerstone in building our reputation as a world-class city with arts, culture and outstanding architecture," said Mayor Oscar B. Goodman. "The performing arts center, along with the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, add a new dimension of sophistication to our city."