Henderson Takes Flight

It’s the second largest city in the state, but when Henderson residents talk about their city, they talk about community. As a community, Henderson has created a strategic plan to guide growth, looking ahead 20 to 30 years to make sure it’s still a city residents love.

People who live in Henderson talk about the active lifestyle, entrepreneurial drive, outdoor recreation, quality of life and quality of education, those things that make up a community.

Those things won’t change.

“When you’re choosing a place to locate a business, it’s often a place that you like, that’s exciting for you. You want to live and work and play in that community,” said Barbra Coffee, director, Economic Development and Tourism, City of Henderson. “It’s a choice that you make for your lifestyle.”

A Life Well Lived

Henderson is perfect for active lifestyles, with over 60 parks and 180 miles of trails.

That means Cadence fits right in. Defined as a bike-sharing, park-going, event-throwing home community, Cadence is a master planned community of 2,200 acres with a 50-acre central park, and many smaller parks throughout the community. Existing and proposed trails will connect Cadence to Lake Mead and with the River Mountains Route Trail. The bike-share program has hubs throughout the community for renting and returning bikes. Soon proposed retail will bring in grocery stores, coffee shops, dry cleaners and UPS Stores, all the necessities.

“Basically a one-stop area for live-work-play,” said Cheryl Gowan, vice president, marketing, Cadence.

The proposed retail, Gowan said, is what residents are asking for. “Because we’re building the community for them.” Cadence is slated for 13,500 homes.

Another community living on the edge of hiking trails is Ascaya. Located in the McCullough Range overlooking Henderson and Las Vegas, the custom homes are on the forefront of the modern, contemporary movement in Southern Nevada, according to Darin Marques, sales manager of the community.

For those explorers who would rather be outside than in, Ascaya is located at the edge of Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area and has easy access to the more than 37 miles of trails weaving through Henderson.

Henderson offers something for everyone. Where Ascaya offers lots of space, the Henderson West gateway project from Sauvage Real Estate offers lots of options within less space. The project utilizes higher density residential units that allows for maximum use of living space with minimum use of land. The land is instead used for greenbelts and walking/hiking/biking trails for residents.

Henderson West is located on I-15, at the edge of the city. “We’re the first parcel as you come into Henderson,” said Alan Sauvage, president, Sauvage Real Estate. The land was annexed from Clark County, and the development is on either side of the highway. The 112-acre project will offer trails throughout and healthy lifestyle choices that integrate the live-work-play ethic so residents can walk or bike to nearby conveniences like grocery stores and theaters.

Higher density residential units in Henderson West will range from 30 units per acre for town homes to 200 units per acre in multi-family residences. By going vertical, the horizontal world outside each unit can devote more space to creating a “healthier lifestyle, living, employment and entertainment center,” according to Sauvage.

Time for Work

The entrepreneurial network in Henderson is growing, and the needs of business owners are changing. Meeting some of those changing needs is Co-Operate on Water, a downtown hub of collaborative office space on Water Street in downtown Henderson. It’s a vibrant, lively space where business owners can rent a desk by the hour, week or month, so highly mobile innovators aren’t tied down to office overhead. Another shared environment, Incubator Space, is located near the Henderson Executive Airport.

Soon all of Water Street will be conducive to getting work done. The city provides Wi-Fi in the City Plaza area to promote business and citizen engagement.

Collaborative work spaces are proliferating. The city hosts a quarterly entrepreneurial meet up called Water Street Rall-E. For anyone looking for a business meeting over a meal, there’s the new Public Works Coffee Bar located near City Hall, and a new Juan’s Flaming Fajita expected to be open by the end of summer.

K2 Energy, which designs and manufactures battery cells and battery pack systems, was founded in Henderson in 2006. It’s lithium ion phosphate batteries are used in medical, transportation and military applications worldwide.

“Henderson provided a very good quality of life and a good location that’s convenient and flexible for work,” said Sean Campbell, president and CEO for K2 Energy. “A lot of folks call Henderson home, who live, work, eat, drink and sleep in the same area.” That was the quality of life the company was looking for.

For businesses that need to ship product in or out of their location, Henderson is an easy-access hub for states in the Western US, and is only a four hour drive from Southern California

Time for Play

There’s more to life than work. Fortunately, Henderson has play covered with its parks and hiking trails, and access to world class entertainment found nearby.

The area offers everything from cultural events at the Henderson Events Plaza Amphitheater to world-class libraries. Henderson is also well known for its extensive parks and recreational areas that feature everything from trails to the Henderson Multigenerational center, a first of its kind activity center complete with aquatics, a senior lounge, game room and rock wall.

In addition, Henderson is the gateway to Lake Mead National Recreation Park, and trails in local neighborhoods lead to Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area along Henderson’s south border. Sloan Canyon features black volcanic mountains and rock art in Petroglyph Canyon.

The area is a goldmine of areas to explore and things to do. Pair that goldmine with a community that loves to “get out and go” and Henderson’s parks and trails are never lonely on the weekends.

Intelligent Design

The Henderson Strong program was created with input from residents, educational facilities and government agencies. The focus areas that formed naturally from the input became a vision statement with three main goals: healthy, livable communities; a vibrant, resilient economy; and active and complete options for transportation.

“The Henderson Strong plan to create higher quality, healthier lifestyle choices is a bit of a trend going on worldwide right now,” said Sauvage who chose West Henderson, an up and coming area of town, for his development. Part of Henderson’s plan for intelligent growth, the area is growing rapidly and will likely be home to the Raiders’ headquarters, a deal that is expected to finalize this June.

The city’s strategic plan integrates the Smart Cities Initiative which utilizes technology to tackle challenges cities face, everything from infrastructure needs to bolstering law enforcement efforts to providing data on everything from the condition of the streets to the availability of tennis courts.. Smart Cities means different things to different cities.

“In Henderson, it means leveraging Smart Cities technology to try to get to the city we want to be,” said Laura Fucci, chief information officer, City of Henderson.

Healthy livable communities means focusing the plan on citizen services and public safety, on a resilient diversified economy and on education.

“We believe a good education system and good outcome from education and educated citizenry really feeds into a vibrant and resilient economy,” said Fucci.

The active outcome of the initiative is to use technology to align efforts to keep people moving and safe. With input from Clark County School District (CCSD), University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, a living, changeable document was created to guide Henderson.

Some of that guidance was on using Smart Cities sensor technology. Sensors can be placed on cars to evaluate road maintenance needed, trip modeling or provide a better understanding of routes residents drive and roads needed. It also includes using drones to scope out fire emergencies or find lost hikers on trails.

And, that’s not the only technology Henderson is rolling out. Bridging the home and work gap means finding a solution for students who don’t have internet access at home. That might mean putting internet access in city recreation centers or trying to get online access into homes so parents can be more involved in their children’s education.

More to Learn

Henderson’s vision of the future includes an educated citizenry. The city has some of the top rated schools in the Clark County School District (CCSD), and is home to several post-secondary education institutions.

College of Southern Nevada (CSN) partners with Nevada State College (NSC) so students can take two or three years of classes at CSN and finish at NSC with a four-year degree. It works with employers to train workforce which then creates more jobs, and it has a college high school on campus so students, in some cases, can graduate with an associate degree at the same time they graduate high school.

One unique program at CSN is its collaboration with the cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas and partnerships with the law enforcement training academy, which was held on campus until the campus began growing so fast. Now police training is held across the street from City Hall on Water Street, and CSN’s campus is expanding.

One aspect of that expansion is a new student union so that each CSN campus throughout the Valley will have a similarly designed place for students. Another is the construction of a health and sciences building in collaboration with NSC.

“We need to make sure we can seed and support the hospital community that is expanding to serve our aging population,” said Patricia Charlton, vice president and provost, Henderson Campus, CSN.

There’s also a need to make sure resident’s medical needs can be serviced in the community, and to supply the medical workforce.

“Henderson has always promoted education as being one of the components of the city and the city’s lifestyle,” said Bart Patterson, president, NSC. The college is beginning to add academic programs to meet critical needs in the community.

Patterson is on the board of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and also works with City of Henderson’s Economic Development Department.

He’s had first hand experience with the interest new businesses take in locating to Henderson especially when they find out about the educational opportunities that exist.

Homegrown Workforce

NSC already has the largest nursing program in Nevada, and 90 to 95 percent of its graduates stay in Nevada. Healthcare is integral to a healthy lifestyle, and NSC has built its program into the largest master’s in nursing program in the state.

There’s also a critical need for teachers in Nevada and NSC is building its education program to graduate more teachers who can move into CCSD. A campaign is underway to raise funds for two new buildings on the Henderson campus: one for education, the other is the collaborative health sciences building with CSN.

“In both those ways, education and healthcare, we’re immediately going to be providing benefits with new graduates and new residents coming in [to Henderson] to take advantage of those programs,” said Patterson.

Touro University considers community outreach part of its mission statement. The school has a number of mobile clinics that put students in the community to provide healthcare for individuals with no other access to it, according to Shelley Berkley, senior provost, Touro University. There’s also an autism clinic for Southern Nevada and a healthcare clinic where faculty who are practicing physicians work with physician assistants and nurse practitioners to treat 2,000 patients a month.

“Most of my graduates have multiple job offers before they graduate,” said Berkley. “But the mission is to educate future healthcare providers for the state of Nevada, and physician assistants are in great demand.” So are occupational and physical therapists, and Touro is training them, too.

Roseman University of Health Sciences is also graduating students to work in Nevada healthcare, and the majority of its students stay in the area. One of Roseman’s community outreach programs is an orthodontics clinic run by residents and overseen by board certified orthodontists. It’s open to the public, and costs about half what treatment from a private practice costs.

“It’s a great opportunity for somebody who maybe doesn’t have their own dentist or orthodontist to be treated with state-of-the-art equipment and technology,” said Renee Coffman, president, Roseman University of Health Sciences.

Roseman has a nursing program and a pharmacist training program that trains pharmacists that are sprinkled throughout Southern Nevada. “If you go into a pharmacy, the pharmacist who treats you is quite likely going to be a Roseman graduate,” said Coffman.

Which not only shows that Henderson’s college grads stay in Nevada after graduation, but that Henderson really does have the small town community feeling that residents claim.

The presence of post-secondary education institutions in Henderson means an educated workforce for businesses looking to locate and hire in the community, and training opportunities for their employees.

Another attraction for potential business owners and residents may be the relationship between the city and its educational institutions. Touro University recently received a $15 million bond from the city to build out the rest of the campus’ buildings to accommodate increases in the numbers of students attending.

“Our medical school last year had 5,100 applications for 135 slots,” said Berkley. The university approached its accrediting body and received permission to increase class sizes to 181 students. The bond means they can build more classroom and office space as other programs are also growing – the physician assistant program is growing from 60 to 80 students.

“We are educating the next generation of healthcare providers and educators for the state of Nevada,” said Berkley. It doesn’t cost the state a cent – Touro is a private, non-profit institution – but through salaries, rents and construction employment they’re contributing approximately half a billion to Nevada’s economy.

“Henderson is a great place to be. You’ve got the ability to tap into Las Vegas without being in Las Vegas, you’ve got the airport and all those amenities, and it feels like a small town community,” said Coffman. “It’s very comfortable. People look out for each other and care for each other. I like it a lot.”

“We’re lucky in Henderson to have a clean slate [for building a world class sustainable city],” said Sauvage. “Lots of cities have to go back and try to put that back into their city, the walk-ability and ride-ability, which is not easy to do once your city’s been built already. It really is a team of city and council members who have the vision to understand smart growth and patient growth and understand what it’s going to take to make a world class sustainable city.”

“We want to be a place that young professionals aspire to live and work, a place they’re comfortable creating a lifestyle within our community,” said Coffee. “We’re the first in the Valley to adopt a Smart Cities Initiative strategy by our council, and we are focused on putting technology in the place it needs to be to keep us on the cutting edge. In Henderson, you have access to transportation options, different housing types, ease and convenience of technology in the places it needs to be. That’s exciting.”

That’s Henderson.

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