Water Street quenches Henderson’s thirst for nightlife and entertainment

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Steve marcus

Water Street, a venerable part of Henderson’s Old Town, is optimistic about a new era. With the opening of the Lifeguard Arena in the background to the left, the refurbishment of two resident-friendly casinos, new businesses and a place for city events, the Water Street District attracts thousands of patrons for eating, shopping and playing, especially on weekends.

You can see plenty of interesting sights these days as you walk up and down Water Street in Henderson, such as new and renovated businesses, outdoor dining, the $ 26 million Lifeguard Arena, and the newly renovated casino called The Pass, to name a few. a few.

What is not visible, but quite impressive in itself, is the success behind it all. The new look of Water Street is the result of a strong vision, over two decades of hard work and a cooperative effort involving government, business and community leadership.

The transformation dates back to 1995, when the Town of Henderson designated Water Street and the greater downtown area as a redevelopment area. This designation opened the district to targeted city funding for physical improvements as well as city-led efforts to attract businesses and investors.

The focus was increased in 2013 with the creation of a master plan for the Water Street neighborhood, which reinvented the neighborhood as a pedestrian corridor with accessible open spaces, restaurants / nightlife, entertainment and residences, retail, offices and high-density space for residents to live, shop and play without getting in their cars.

As Sun editor Hillary Davis reported in a recent article, the anchor for the rebirth came with the 2019 demolition of the Henderson Convention Center to make way for Lifeguard Arena. This facility opened in November, serving as a training site for the Henderson Silver Knights and a public skating center when the Silver Knights are not training.

The project brought attention to Water Street, and new companies arrived to complement several that had taken a step ahead after the unveiling of the master plan. Meanwhile, the city has improved the infrastructure of the street to give the redevelopment a solid foundation on which to proceed.

Today, Water Street has over 20 places to eat and drink, with more to come, and comes alive with special events such as a weekly farmer’s market.

“It’s going to be successful because critical mass has now been reached,” said Scott Muelrath, president and CEO of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, to Davis. “It’s here to stay.”

Next steps include adding apartments to the neighborhood, which began with the development of The Watermark, a mixed-use project designed to offer 135 residential units on its five upper levels and 40,000 square feet of retail space. The complex, which is expected to be completed in mid-2022 opposite the arena, is one of four plots where mixed-use development is available or in the planning stages.

The neighborhood is a nice addition to the Valley, as well as other pedestrian areas in and around downtown Las Vegas and elsewhere.

It’s also a refreshing reminder that proactive governance and strong civic leadership are happening in our community. Revitalizing Water Street took a lot of work and patience, but its future looks bright.

As Tiffany Reardon, a member of the City’s Redevelopment Bureau, said in the Sun article: “We like to call it a 30-year overnight success.


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