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The new UNLV Medical School has students are taking classes. But the actual school, which will be located just northeast of University Medical Center in downtown Las Vegas, isn't expected to be finished until about 2020.
While that seems like a long way out, the timeline hasn't diminished interest in the area by developers.
Bill Arent, the Las Vegas urban development and economic director, told State of Nevada that developers are already scoping out properties around Charleston Boulevard and Rancho Drive.
He added that over the next five years, he expects roughly 1,000 new housing units to go up in or around the area.
“I think we’re going to see a lot of activity over the next five to seven years,” Arent said.
Part of the reason he knows that is because Arent is also on the board of the Las Vegas Medical District. The board meets quarterly as it plans how and where people will live and work in an area centered around the new medical school.
Arent said the focus of the board is to advance the medical district and leverage investments made by the university to create a thoughtfully planned neighborhood.
He said Las Vegas was one of the largest cities in the country without a medical district for academics and healthcare. The effort underway now by the city, the university and several private partners will change that.
“It’s really for expansion of health care centered around our anchor institutions,” he said.
A map from the board's latest meeting shows dozens of properties on more than 600 acres targeted to be part of the growing medical district. Many of those properties hug Charleston Boulevard, from Rancho west to Valley View Boulevard.
That doesn't mean the city will acquire those properties, Arent added. The hope is for private developers, medical professionals with different specialties, and other businesses to spring up in that area.
Bill Arent, Las Vegas urban development and economic director