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Residents, business owners respond to MLS development proposal downtown

Posted at 8:07 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-08 12:21:47-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The city’s plan to bring pro soccer to Las Vegas has a 6-month time-frame, not to mention a dueling plan from the owner of the Vegas Golden Knights.

The city’s proposal would bring major development to the area around Cashman Field. To start, the developer would knock down Cashman Field and build a new 25,000-seat soccer stadium, meant for a Major League Soccer team. It would also mean a major redevelopment of the area around the stadium, likely including new shops, restaurants, apartments and hotels.

For Las Vegas Lights owner Brett Lashbrook, the proposal in the works is great for soccer and great for the city.

“The fact that the city has identified a private investor to put billions of dollars into developing the Cashman District, tying it into Fremont Street, beautifying Las Vegas Boulevard as we continue to move the city north and to use soccer as the anchor tenant, it’s a wonderful day for not just soccer fans but for anyone who loves economic development," said Lashbrook.

But where there’s development, there’s often displacement. City councilman Cedric Crear, who represents the ward, said he sees the proposal as an opportunity for current residents.

“Unemployment around the city is about 4 percent and my ward is at 15 percent so our goal is to get people working and we are bringing in industry, we’re bringing in jobs and we gotta get people ready, prepared to go to work," said Crear.

Crear said this plan complements his Ward 5 Works program which combines job skills training with attracting employers to the area.

Just south of the current stadium, Laos Market has been in business for 35 years. Owner Santy says the development would likely bring new visitors to the area and up her property value.

“If they have restaurants and shops opening up, I mean it actually may bring in a whole new ball game to that side of town and maybe bring value to the business," said Santy.

Santy said she isn’t worried about displacement as she is planning to sell her family business within the year.

Across Las Vegas Boulevard, the general manager of Siegel Suites said a potential development could create jobs and clean up the neighborhood. But he hopes the motel could be a part of that growth and not forced to sell to developers.

Councilman Crear said many questions need to be answered over the next six months but the proposal is a great place to start.

“I’m a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, a lifelong resident of Ward 5. I live in the house I grew up in so I want to see our ward prosper. We have to do something and this is a great use I think of the city’s resources right now to try to take a shot to get one of these teams," said Crear.