Desert Pines golf course could be redeveloped in east Las Vegas

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A Las Vegas golf course could be redeveloped into a mix of housing, commercial space and a workforce training center as part of a plan being considered by city officials.

The Las Vegas City Council this week approved the start of exclusive talks with development company McCormack Baron Salazar on the redesign of Desert Pines Golf Club, a city-owned site on Bonanza and Pecos roads.

The 180-day negotiation agreement has two 90-day extension options.

Ryan Smith, director of economic and urban development for Las Vegas, told a council meeting Wednesday that this would be a “truly unique” and “much needed project for southern Nevada.”

As currently envisioned, the East Las Vegas venture would include at least 1,500 residential units, as well as commercial space, recreational facilities and a site for a workforce training center, all spread across around the property of approximately 100 acres, according to the agreement.

Housing can include single-family, multi-family, affordable and market-priced units, as well as units for people aged 55 and over, the agreement says.

The project could cost more than $500 million and the developer aims to start horizontal construction in the third quarter of 2023, Dan Falcon, general manager of McCormack’s West Coast operations, told board members.

Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, whose neighborhood includes Desert Pines, told the Review-Journal on Friday that east Las Vegas has been “one of the hardest hit areas” in southern Nevada by the pandemic, both on the both financially and health-wise.

The golf course project would bring “positive change” to the area, including housing, increased business services, open spaces and a community center, she said.

On its website, St. Louis-based McCormack bills itself as a for-profit developer of “economically integrated urban neighborhoods.” It has over $5 billion in total investments and over 25,000 homes nationwide.

This week’s vote follows a similar move for Cashman Center earlier this month, as City Council voted Aug. 3 to begin talks with Tru Development on turning this city-owned site into a mixed-use medical campus.

Located on Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue, Cashman is home to a convention center and a stadium where the Las Vegas Lights football team plays.

As currently envisioned, the redeveloped property would include a children’s hospital, medical offices, retail, multi-family residential units and potentially a play-free hotel, Tru founder Tim Deters told the Review-Journal.

He expects the total project to cost between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion.

Plus, Desert Pines wouldn’t be the only golf course in town to be redeveloped.

Homebuilder Touchstone Living bought the now closed Royal Links golf course in the eastern Las Vegas Valley last year and is turning it into a sprawling community that has more than 1,600 homes as well as parks , swimming pools and playgrounds.

Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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