LAS VEGAS-Focus Property Group and the City of Henderson have inked a development agreement for the 300-acre urban core of Inspirada, a nearly 2,000-acre master planned community in southwest corner of the Las Vegas Valley. The development is contiguous to Del Webb’s Anthem residential development.

Focus Property Group is a land developer, which is to say they acquire land, master-plan it and prepare it for development but don’t usually go vertical themselves. The company bought the site in a June 2004 federal auction for $557 million.

Focus Property Group chairman/CEO John Ritter tells that Inspirada Town Center will include up to 5,000 housing units and between 300,000- and 700,000-sf of retail, not including the retail that will be part of the casino-resort that will anchor a walkable town center with a central park. The bulk of the residential will be housed in two 200-feet towers and the remainder in several four-and five-story buildings that will house the retail on their ground floors. Other buildings will have office space above street-level retail. Buildings for civic and municipal uses are also planned.

“It’s moving forward pretty agressively,” Ritter says. “The infrastructure and roads, including a road that connects to Interstate 15, are under construciton and will be finished in 24 months, and we are already negotiating deals for three of the mid-rise multifamily sites and one of the outlying, daily-use retail sites.”

The relatively early retail development is made possible because of Del Webb’s adjacent Anthem residential community, which Ritter says has a direct connection to Inspirada and is “really underserved” by retail. Ritter anticipates the first retail will be up and running within 36 months, as will the first of the town center’s residential developments.

“The center is like The District on steroids or Santana Row,” says Ritter, referring to both The District and Green Valley Ranch, a mixed-use development that includes walkable streets lined by mixed-use buildings with residential and office space above street-level restaurants and retail shops, and Santana Row, a similar mixed-use development in San Jose, CA.

Surrounding Inspirada Town Center will be 1,700 acres of walking trails, bicycle paths and single-family homes. When built out, Inspirada will have a total of 13,500 residential units. Ritter says three builders are already selling home sites. There will be seven residential villages in all, each with their own theme (music, art, athletics, dance, exploration, painting and science). The first village’s park and community center, replete with a pool, is almost completed.

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