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Henderson Future Development

While Henderson and Clark County debate where the city's southwest boundary should be, Henderson already is mapping out plans for its next generation of Las Vegas luxury neighborhoods on both sides of the city limits.

Henderson officials are preparing for a fall auction involving 2,095 acres of Bureau of Land Management property west of the Inspirada master-planned community. City planners envision a mix of residential and commercial development.

Henderson also was considering a fall auction of 700 acres of unincorporated Clark County between Inspirada homes for sale and the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area south of St. Rose Parkway near Las Vegas Boulevard South.

That sale, however, has been taken off the table because mining claims for the site have not been resolved, said Stephanie Garcia-Vause, Henderson deputy director of long range planning. The city has designated the property for residential development.

The 700-acre site is part of 3,626 acres of BLM land along the southwest Henderson border that the city had sought to annex, only to face objections from Clark County.

The latest planning efforts are the culmination of work that started after Henderson, with Clark County's blessing, annexed 5,400 acres in 2000 -- its largest annexation in 29 years. Henderson wanted the land to establish a "western gateway" to the city.

That's already under way. Focus Property Groups is moving ahead with Inspirada on nearly 2,000 acres purchased for $557 million in June 2004. Model homes are to be finished by the end of the year with the first homes expected to be occupied in early 2007.

Not all of that 2,095 acres of federal land in Las Vegas, however, will be auctioned for a future master-planned community west of Inspirada.

The city will set aside property for schools and other facilities, and the Nevada Transportation Department still uses a portion as a gravel pit, Garcia-Vause said.

"It will have a mix of uses with residential and commercial," Garcia-Vause said. "We are in the process of working with the development community. We like ... flexibility. The successful bidders are going to be marketing and selling real estate in Las Vegas, and we want to work with them on what they want."

Henderson Councilwoman Amanda Cyphers said she hopes whatever is built offers a different master-planned community compared to those that exist in the Las Vegas Valley.

That was the case with Inspirada, a development to be reminiscent of pre-World War II communities. Inspirada will offer dense, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods connected with narrow streets, village squares, parks and open space. With 11,500 homes, the venture will be one of the nation's largest "new urbanism" communities.

"We want to find something that isn't the typical residences existing in the valley, but something we know will be successful because it has a uniqueness to it," Cyphers said. "We strive for a choice of different developments. That is one of our successes. I don't think it is wise to put your eggs all in one basket."

John Ritter, Focus Property Group chief executive, said his company has worked with the city to ensure that any development to the west (Anthem Countyr Club homes for sale) is consistent with Inspirada. He said it is important that the auction be staggered so that it would not compete with Inspirada for financing and homes sales.

Ritter said he envisions the proposed development as primarily residential so it does not compete with the planned Town Center at Inspirada -- 300 acres expected to include a resort casino, retail and possibly high-rise office buildings.

"I think it needs to be different from Inspirada," Ritter said. "You don't want too much of the same type of housing projects on line at one time. You don't want them to cannibalize each other."

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