Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2014

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Las Vegas City Council:

On tap for approval: Symphony Park’s newest tenant, liquor licenses, center for blind children

A new tenant could be headed to downtown’s Symphony Park if the Las Vegas City Council approves a $5 million land sale Wednesday to a developer planning to build a skilled nursing and assisted living center.

Downtown liquor laws, a hot topic in the city recently, also will be on the council’s agenda when members meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Las Vegas City Hall, 495 S. Main St.

Symphony Park development

The planned skilled nursing and assisted living center isn’t as flashy as some of the other proposals floated for the city’s 61-acre park that currently includes the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Discovery Children's Museum and Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, but officials project it could generate $100 million in economic impact for the city.

The $71.3 million facility would be built on a 3.3-acre parcel by Citra Real Estate Company of Marina del Rey, Calif.

The city will consider finalizing the $5 million sale at its Wednesday meeting after more than a year of negotiations. The developer will be responsible for $1.5 million of improvements to the site, bringing the net sale price to $3.5 million.

If completed, the new center is expected to create about 900 jobs.

Drinking downtown

The council at its last meeting passed a six-month moratorium banning applications for new packaged liquor licenses along a stretch of Fremont Street as an emergency measure to curb development while zoning and liquor laws are reviewed.

The council is scheduled to formalize that resolution into an ordinance Wednesday, but first, the public will get a chance to weigh in on the issue during a recommending committee meeting at 9 a.m. today.

The moratorium, which affects a five-block stretch of Fremont Street from Main Street to Las Vegas Boulevard, received no protest when it was brought before the council in October.

If approved, it would prevent any new applications for the sale of closed containers of beer, wine or alcohol for six months while the city reviews its current laws amid concerns the area is oversaturated with liquor stores.

In a separate item, the council will consider granting a temporary tavern limited license allowing alcohol sales at the soon-to-open Container Park. The proximity of alcohol-serving bars and restaurants to a planned children’s play area at the downtown attraction generated concern this summer.

Representatives from the park, which is backed by the Downtown Project, have submitted a 56-page security plan to the city outlining measures to ensure safety and prevent underage drinking.

Blind learning center planned

A new learning center for blind and visually impaired children could be built on 2.78 acres of city-owned land if the council approves a lease Wednesday with the Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation.

The nonprofit organization plans to build a 22,000-square-foot facility at the vacant lot at 741 Veterans Memorial Drive downtown.

The property would be leased to the foundation for $1 per year for 30 years, a $783,000 discount in rent over the life of the lease.

The foundation would be responsible for a $7.4 million investment to build and operate the center, which will offer educational-enrichment classes and support services to blind or visually impaired children and their families.

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