Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004 | 9:47 a.m.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority on Thursday will consider renting a new building downtown, which would move about 300 water authority employees from their digs on West Flamingo Road.
The move, which water authority officials say makes sense to house a growing number of employees, would not occur until the building planned by the Molasky Group is completed in 2007. The building is planned for Grand Central Parkway and F Street downtown.
The Water Authority also would have an option to buy the new building.
The offices now used by the Water Authority are in addition to the offices shared by the water authority and Las Vegas Valley Water District at Valley View and Charleston boulevards. Those offices, which are home to the top brass, many of whom work for both the authority and Water District, would not be immediately affected by the move.
Richard Wimmer, water authority deputy general manager, said the move would increase the 81,000 square feet now used at the West Flamingo offices to 129,000 square feet.
He said the rental cost for the new building would be about $2.20 a square foot per month compared to the projected cost of $2.02 a square foot at the old building. The approximate yearly cost of the lease of $3.6 million does not take into account an agreement to cut half the rent for the first year of the move and a third of the rent the second year, Wimmer said.
Wimmer said the Molasky Group also has agreed to pay the rent on the West Flamingo offices if the new building is not ready to move into in August 2007.
"It's a good business deal for the authority," he said. "It gives you total flexibility to grow however you want to grow."
The authority would spend about $2 million annually for rent at the old offices if no more space there were rented, according to Wimmer. He added that as the water authority hires more people in its continuing effort to bring more water to the Las Vegas metropolitan area, more space will be needed.
The water authority's offices on Flamingo are running out of room for expansion, he said.
Wimmer said another advantage is that it takes what is now a 25-minute drive from the Valley View offices to the Flamingo offices and trims it to less than 10 minutes.
Representatives for the Molasky Group were not immediately available for comment.
Las Vegas City Manager Doug Selby said the move would "bring a lot of talented, well-paid people" downtown and aid the city's efforts to encourage investment in the center city.
The Las Vegas City Council is scheduled to consider in its meeting today providing the Molasky Group with land for the project at nominal cost. The move would discount about $2 million in land costs for the Molasky Group.
Selby said the property taxes from the project would generate about $500,000 annually.