Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 | 11:42 a.m.
The Nevada Supreme Court will be packing up its offices at the Regional Justice Center and moving down the street next year, after the Las Vegas City Council today approved plans for a new downtown courthouse.
The two-story building at the corner of 4th Street and Clark Avenue will house staff and attorneys for the Supreme Court and the newly created Nevada Court of Appeals.
It will have one courtroom for hearings for the appellate court and oral arguments before the Supreme Court.
The move will provide the court with more space — 26,600 square feet compared to the 15,272 leased at the Justice Center — while saving and save about $400,000 in rent payments over the next decade.
Chief Justice James Hardesty said the new building will provide room for the court to grow over the next 25 years.
The building will be constructed by EHB Companies, which also built One Queensridge Place and Tivoli Village, on what is now a public parking lot. It is expected to be finished by December 2016.
“I never imagined that we would have an opportunity to even entertain the suggestion that (the developer) presented to us with this new building,” Hardesty said. “The obstacles were substantial.”
To make the move, Hardesty had to convince the Clark County Commission to let the court out of its lease at the Justice Center, which had 14 years remaining, and needed approval from the Legislature.
He also had to carefully manage costs — a ballot question approved by voters in November creating the appellate court specifically said there would be no capital spending or increased expenditures as a result.
The court will pay $640,000 in rent for the first 10 years of the 25-year lease, with costs increasing after that.
The prospect of a new building downtown, which will be built in the Roman classical style with masonry facade, fluted columns and arched windows, thrilled the City Council, which unanimously approved the project.
“Wow,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “This is so wonderful.”