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New master-planned community breaks ground in northwest | News

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New master-planned community breaks ground in northwest

LAS VEGAS -- Southern Nevada hasn't seen the start of a major master-planned housing project like this since before the Great Recession.

On Thursday, city leaders, the governor, and developers broke ground for the new Skye Canyon master-planned community in the northwest part of the Las Vegas valley.

There will be a new neighborhood at U.S. 95 and Horse Drive in a couple of years, if plans go accordingly.

The new Skye Canyon community will be aimed at people who want to enjoy the great outdoors and live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross represents this northwest part of the valley, where the new community is being built.

“This is huge for the city of Las Vegas,” Ross said, “It's a lifestyle change.”

Ross was part of the group breaking ground Thursday. Instead of hard hats, the leaders who broke ground wore bicycle helmets, symbolizing Skye Canyon's theme of enthusiasm for the great outdoors and health and fitness.

The community will include 9,000 homes, along with parks and jogging and bike paths on 1,700 acres.

“It won't be Summerlin, but it'll be close. It will be a real high-end reputation, a community that people are really going to want to be at,” Chris Wilson with Stonehill Capital said.

Wilson of New York-based Stonehill Capital says the company is investing in this project since there is a shortage of residential land in Las Vegas and a growing demand for new homes.

“Las Vegas suffered deeply in the housing downturn. We've seen it now bouncing along the bottom for a little while. The homebuilders are selling homes at a rapid clip. So there is an interest. There is pent-up demand of people that put off buying for years. Now they're ready to move forward,” Wilson said.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman wants to keep the momentum going. She jokingly reminded the head of Olympia Companies, the leader of the project, what should be next on the to-do list for the future neighborhood.

“I just want to remind you not to forget schools which I know has to be in there somewhere, a hospital, and a fire station,” Mayor Goodman said.

Construction is expected to begin in late summer. Skye Canyon will open next summer. Homes should be ready in early 2016.

The massive development is expected to generate thousands of construction jobs.

“You think about the jobs that are going to happen out here. They are going to be thousands of people. Construction workers that may have not had a job and now are going to have an opportunity to be back in the game,” Governor Brian Sandoval said.

Utility installation and road construction will be some of the first jobs. Then the homebuilders will start hiring framers, plumbers, electricians, painters and landscapers.

Two companies that are already involved are shg-inc.com/contact.html# and lasvegaspaving.com.