In the 1930s, Henderson housed builders working on Boulder Dam. During World War II the Basic Magnesium Plant in Henderson processed magnesium. Those workers left after the war, but Henderson carried on and incorporated in 1953, population 7,400.
Today, Henderson is Nevada’s second largest city and consistently ranked on “Best Of” lists from safety to livability. Businesses from Levi Strauss & Company to Toyota Financial Services and Ocean Spray make Henderson home. Recently, Life Time Fitness Inc., and Barclaycard US also arrived in Henderson, taking 170,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet respectively, while VadaTech Corporate Headquarters & Manufacturing Facility won an award for design on its 50,000-square-foot facility.
Simultaneously, Henderson provides new and traditional resources and amenities businesses and residents want.
#The Place to Be
“Henderson is a great selling submarket,” said Rob McGibney, division president, KB Home Nevada. “People want to live there.”
Livability.com has consistently ranked Henderson on its Top 100 Best Places to Live list, and Law Street Media lists it on the Top 10 Safest Cities with a population greater than 200,000. Businesses want to locate where they’re not only able to hire from a well-educated workforce, but where their employees will feel comfortable and safe – somewhere they’ll want to live and raise their families. In a recent Community Assessment Survey conducted by the ETC Institute, 99 percent of residents were satisfied with both Henderson as a place to live and the quality of life.
Henderson is home to a nationally-recognized parks and trails system with 60 well-tended city parks, and nearby outdoor recreational venues include Mt. Charleston, Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon. Henderson is just moments from the famed Las Vegas Strip with its fine dining, shopping, entertainment venues, theaters and cultural events.
Water Street District, Henderson’s historic heart, is a unique setting where Main Street USA meets progressive, dynamic thinking. A convergence of culture, commerce and authentic small-town sensibilities, the Water Street District is the product of forward-thinking redevelopment policies carried out by the City of Henderson. Today, innovative pro-business and resident aid programs are changing the face – and the soul – of this vibrant district.
Water Street is home to the Henderson Convention Center, which offers over 13,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. After 25 years of use, the convention center is due for a renovation or rebuild with a possible expansion to include a hospitality component. The request for proposals for the public/private reinvestment project will go out this spring, with the selection process happening over the summer of 2015.
The Galleria at Sunset expansion started in 2013 and has entered phase two, including exterior work and the addition of new-to-market restaurants like Gen Korean BBQ House and Sugar Factory. “Last year was great,” said Heather FitzGerald, marketing director of the mall. “Sales were up, traffic was up, and this year they’re both up over last year for January and February.”
When businesses relocate or expand, they look for business-friendly environments. Nevada is well known for its positive approach to business – no corporate, personal, income or franchise tax, and additional incentives like sales and use, personal property and modified business tax abatement.
For employers looking to hire locally, there are multiple institutions of higher education in Henderson, from the nearby University of Nevada, Las Vegas to the College of Southern Nevada Henderson Campus and Nevada State College. Another 12 private colleges offer more than 75 programs and majors. By 2012 measures, 64 percent of the population have some college, and 37 percent hold a college degree. Henderson’s population of nearly 280,000 is still growing, and is expected to reach 335,000 by 2020.
Another important industry in which Henderson has been growing is healthcare with two major projects in the works.
St. Rose Dominican Hospital’s Siena Campus Tower has broken ground on St. Rose Parkway. The 220,000 square foot tower will encompass five-stories and is expected to cost $156 million. The project will add 141 private rooms to the campus, bringing the total number of private rooms to 360. In addition, it will double the size of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the expanded emergency department is being designed to accommodate nearly 85,000 annual patient visits. The expansion is expected to be complete by early 2016 and is the latest milestone in the Siena Campus’ three-year renovation and expansion project.
Henderson will also soon be home to Union Village, a $1.2 billion medical community that will include the Valley Health System’s sixth acute care facility, Henderson Hospital. In addition to the hospital, the healthcare-centered, master-planned project will encompass 170 acres and feature all the components of a live, work, play community with a healthcare twist. The project broke ground in October of 2014 at the northeast corner of US 93/95 and Galleria Drive.
Both projects are big boosts to Henderson’s already robust offering of healthcare facilities. And, each healthcare development has, and continues to, benefit from the efforts of the city’s economic development team.
There are 13 business parks in Henderson, serving businesses including light manufacturing, distribution centers, research and design facilities and real estate to meet the needs of retail and office uses such as corporate headquarters, call centers and back office operations.
While facilities are certainly important, accessibility and moving goods is just as important and, in this arena, Southern Nevada shines. Henderson is seven miles from The Strip, minutes from McCarran International Airport and Henderson Executive Airport, and served by major highways I-15, US 95, US 93 and Highway 146. Located 50 miles from the California border, 234 miles from Los Angeles and, being south of The Strip, it’s possible to go from Henderson to Los Angeles without passing through the Las Vegas entertainment corridor.
“Our position in Southern Nevada is wonderful for reaching western regional markets and for doing business in the Southwest,” said Barbra Coffee, director, Economic Development and Redevelopment, City of Henderson. “With the proximity we have to Southern California, four to six hours and you’re in Los Angeles and San Diego and you have access to the millions of people who might be your target market.”
Henderson is also easily accessible by air, via McCarran International Airport and Henderson Executive Airport. Henderson is in the Las Vegas Valley and businesses locating there share in Las Vegas’s global market, with five million people attending business meetings and trade shows in the region and 40 million coming through the airport every year.
When a business is ready to locate in Henderson, the city is ready to work with the owner.
For 15 years Henderson has worked with NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association and the development community to create a system that meets the needs of business going through the entitlement process. It has paid off – Henderson was chosen as one of the top three best systems in the nation according to University of North Carolina School of Government. In addition, according to the Community Assessment Survey, 74 percent of Henderson’s residents are satisfied with the city’s efforts to help local businesses grow. And, 85 percent of residents are satisfied with the economic development overall. Projects are submitted online and tracked through a transparent process so principals can see instantly where their plans stand in queue.
“The city has instilled a customer service target and standards,” said Jeff Leake, manager, City of Henderson Economic Development Division. Projects submitted for review are tracked in terms of time and when the city meets the time limits set, word gets back to the industry.
Sometimes the industry needs to get back to the city. When Pinot’s Palette opened in fall 2014, it was a new enough industry – paint and sip – the city didn’t know how to treat it. “We’re not a restaurant or a tavern,” said owner Judy Alewel. But they needed a liquor license for beer and wine.
The city made it work, and in February, Pinot’s Palette celebrated its 5,000th customer. “I absolutely love Henderson,” said Alewel. “Henderson Chamber of Commerce has also been incredibly supportive, and the community has embraced Pinot’s Palette.”
Companies have struggled to find existing industrial space in Henderson as inventory has filled up over the last year.
“Businesses have had a hard time finding existing space in our city, so it’s exciting to see new industrial development starting up again,” said Coffee. “We now have more than 600,000 square feet of new construction planned this year which will help us get back in the game.”
That good news means more companies will be able to choose Henderson rather than Phoenix, Salt Lake, Denver or the Inland Empire.
One of the proposed new projects is Henderson Freeway Crossing, a 100 percent speculative project being built at Lake Mead Parkway and U.S. Highway 95. Panattoni is planning a six building, 455,000-square-foot project they’re hoping to deliver by the end of 2015. They’ve already delivered the 320,000-square-foot FedEx Ground facility located in the South 15 Airport Center.
“We’ve had our eye on the site for some time,” said Doug Roberts, partner, Panattoni Development Company, Inc. “We think it’s an underserved market with good access to the labor market, good access to freeway systems, very business friendly and the distribution and warehouse vacancy rate in that area is less than 1 percent, so it seemed like a good time to build product in Henderson.”
Harsch Investment Properties will break ground spring 2015 on the latest phase of Henderson Commerce Center, located on Warm Springs Road, said John Ramous, senior vice president and regional manager of Harsch. The newest phase will incorporate two separate parcels and five buildings totaling 220,000 square feet and is slated for users to take units ranging from 3,500 and 20,000 square feet.
“Our bread and butter has been to cater to smaller businesses and then continue to grow them over the years, so as they grow, we grow,” Ramous said. “We like to always have the ability to grow them, and for tenants to come in and take multiple units says a lot about market activity.”
What it says is market activity is picking up in Henderson. During the economic downturn mom and pop businesses still opened in small spaces, but there was little demand for midbay size, anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000, or even 50,000 square feet. Now demand for midbay and big box sizes is growing, and the Southern Nevada region is out of space to show site selection teams coming in from the Midwest and Southern California. Planning for those teams, development in Henderson is moving forward to accommodate businesses looking to expand or relocate.
For Harsch, the principals have always had a good relationship with city officials, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce and the Henderson Development Association.
“Certain businesses are very much drawn to Henderson given its economic-friendly environment and very approachable climate with regard to economic development and their public officials,” said Ramous. “There’s a very pro-business community there and it’s well diversified, able to capture a variety of businesses.”
For Panattoni, it’s the vacancy rate and the increased demands for space as more businesses look to locate in Henderson.
For Prologis, it’s the market fundamentals and the vacancy rate. “We own a couple buildings in the Henderson submarket and felt it’s a good market for us to grow our portfolio and put another facility on the ground out there,” said Jeff Foster, vice president, marketing officer. The company owns Black Mountain Distribution Center I and II and plans are in the works to build the third, a 240,000-square-foot building.
Henderson is seeking new businesses and growing its industrial base in the market, according to Foster, and with development of the multi-use Cadence master-planned community, he believes that market will grow.
“There’s going to be a lot of people living there who own their own businesses and who will want to have their business and industrial space right there in Henderson, and that’s who we’re looking to cater to.”
#A Place To Call Home
Two new master-planned communities in Henderson are creating homes rather than houses, and neighborhoods rather than developments.
Cadence is slated for 2,200 acres east of Lake Mead Parkway and Warm Springs Road. Some 13,250 residential units are planned with a mix of architectural designs from traditional to contemporary and even a beach house-type design. Built around 450 acres of open space, parks, walking and bike trails, a 100-acre sports park and a 50-acre central park, the plan calls for residential, retail and commercial for a live, work, play community.
The community will also house a 5,000 square foot office building and 15,000 square feet in two planned build-to-suit office complexes, and offer free Wi-Fi in public areas so people can work outside or in.
For people who want to live adjacent to Ren with great access to the 215 Beltway and I-15 freeways, the Inspirada community is building seven villages on 1,500 acres.
Keeping up with environmentally friendly trends, KB Home is building homes that are often twice as energy efficient as homes built just 10 years ago. “It makes a big difference to buyers,” said McGibney. “In some instances it’s saving them $80 to over $120 per month in electric over a house built in 2006.”
Inspirada features 85 acres of parks, trails and open spaces, creating a community where families can be seen playing outside, McGibney said. In a public-private partnership, Inspirada built two parks and turned them over to the city to maintain.
Businesses follow rooftops, so new homes in Henderson mean new businesses, and Inspirada will feature a commercial town center.
“Businesses want to be around where people live, and Henderson is consistently rated one of the best and safest places to live in America,” said McGibney. “The sheer volume of people who will be in Inspirada at build out, it’s almost like its own little city with over 8,000 homes.”
KB Homes worked with the City of Henderson to re-entitle the project that started in 2007, updating the development agreement in order to build homes that make more sense in today’s market, traditional homes with driveways and yards.
“Henderson really partnered with us during the whole entitlement effort,” said McGibney. “We worked together to come up with a set of design guidelines that allow us to sell what today’s homebuyer wants while also providing first-class level amenities like no other master plan in Las Vegas.”
One opportunity Henderson shares with cities across the country is the ability to tap into the zeitgeist: with the movement to revitalize central business districts and downtowns comes a nationwide trend of people wanting to live close to where they work and to play where they live and to share in an actual community.
“They want to be able to walk to work, have a scalable place to live and do business and I think our Water Street District provides that,” said Coffee. “As people are more reliant on public transportation and less interested in owning their own vehicles, you’re going to see continued movement in that direction, young and old alike, and I think Henderson is the perfect place for that.”