Las Vegas Sun

June 29, 2016

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NLV aiming to entice businesses to industrial park south of Apex

Apex Industrial Park, the future home of electric carmaker Faraday Future, has become synonymous with economic revitalization in North Las Vegas.

State and city leaders have hailed the 18,000-acre swath of desert as a transformational opportunity for both the money-starved northern suburb and the community at large — capable of pumping an estimated $85 billion into the local economy over the next two decades.

But it’s not the city’s only development hope.

Several miles south on Interstate 15 lie another 1,100 acres ripe for business development, according to North Las Vegas officials. Dubbed the “North Beltway Industrial Park,” it sits near the intersection of the Las Vegas Beltway and I-15 and south of the Speedway. It’s zoned for industrial use.

“It could be good dirt on which to develop,” said Terri Sheridan, economic development specialist for the city of North Las Vegas.

The hangup has been access and infrastructure, which North Las Vegas hopes to alleviate within two years. Right now, motorists on the Beltway access the area by taking Range Road and going underneath I-15, while motorists traveling on I-15 get off at Speedway Boulevard and then must drop south to enter the industrial park.

North Las Vegas officials said the city was planning to extend Tropical Parkway to I-15, allowing direct access from the highway to the industrial park. They’re also drawing up plans for a four-mile sewer line coming up from Nellis Air Force Base that would service the area as well. (The industrial park already has access to water.) Tentative cost of the sewer line is $25 million, while a cost estimate for the parkway extension was not immediately available.

Design plans should be complete next month, with construction set to start next year, Sheridan said.

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee considers the development possibilities at the site another boon to the city’s economic revival.

“We’re going to be the breadbasket of this area,” he said. “This is where the jobs will be. The Strip and Fremont Street are the boutiques of our community. North Las Vegas will do the heavy lifting on industrial, manufacturing and job creation.”

Sheridan estimates that 90 percent of the industrial park is available for development, with land parcels ranging in size from 2.5 acres to 110 acres. A few businesses, such as Meadow Gold (dairy products), Sysco (food distribution and marketing) and Nicholas and Company (food service), already operate in the park, but they’re using septic tanks or hooking up to a county sewer line, which is at capacity, city officials said.

The addition of the sewer line and better roadway access serves as the ideal “one-two punch” the industrial park needs to flourish, said Kevin Higgins, executive vice president of CBRE, a brokerage firm that represents several properties at the site, including the Northern Beltway Industrial Center.

“It’s really one of the last larger areas of privately held industrial land within the valley,” he said.

Higgins said he expected the industrial park to house a variety of businesses — food distributors, third-party logistics companies, furniture companies and larger e-commerce retailers, to name a few. With the spread of “just-in-time delivery,” the site makes sense for e-commerce retailers that need a place to house their products that’s closer to consumers, he said.

So far, interest in the industrial park has been “tremendous,” said Higgins, who also has ownership interest in some of the land.

“It’s a very healthy mix,” he said. “It’s new companies to town and existing companies that are expanding.”

The Nevada Department of Transportation also has projects planned that will improve highway mobility near the industrial park, spokesman Tony Illia said. The first phase — the widening of I-15 from Craig Road to Speedway Boulevard — is expected to begin during the second quarter of this year and finish in 2018.

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