Strong Cities Strong Communities Las Vegas phase one winners announced

Ten teams that submitted proposals for consideration in Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) Las Vegas, a global economic development challenge, have advanced to phase two of the competition following a vote today by the Las Vegas city council. The council also voted to award phase one prizes to the top three proposals as recommended by the SC2 evaluation panel comprised of community leaders. Representing the panel at city council were SC2 judges Myron Martin, president and CEO, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and Steve Chartrand, president and CEO, Goodwill of Southern Nevada.

A first place cash prize of $60,000 was awarded to “Build a Vibrant Las Vegas,” a local multi-disciplinary team of professionals that developed a proposal to create an unmanned aerial and robotics resource center at Cashman Center; a second place cash prize of $30,000 was awarded to a team of professionals from Gensler, a global integrated architecture and design firm with offices in Las Vegas, which developed a proposal for Cashman Center to become a geographic center for sustainability that will attract and establish sustainable businesses; and a third place cash prize of $10,000 was awarded to Strain/Stalk, a team comprised of local architect Eric Strain and community developer Arnold Stalk, for their plan to develop a mixed-use Mid-Strip/Main Street project.

Funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and hosted by the city of Las Vegas, SC2 Las Vegas drew interest from 49 states and 48 countries. Following an initial administrative review, 17 teams advanced to compete in phase one.

The qualified participating teams are primarily comprised of professionals from local architectural, development and business firms with UNLV faculty representation on three teams and potential UNLV collaboration cited in proposals from four additional teams. Two of the 17 proposals were submitted by teams from out of state and half of the proposals focused on new ideas for Cashman Center; six focused on projects within the city’s Redevelopment area; and two offered ideas for business parks.

“Overall, we are very impressed with some of the innovative ideas in the phase one submissions,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “Our judges spent a great deal of time reviewing and scoring these proposals, to ensure fairness. We are confident in their recommendations and look forward to seeing these winning ideas developed even further during phase two of the competition.”

SC2 is a prestigious international prize competition awarded in 2012 to three U.S. cities: Las Vegas, Nevada; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Hartford, Connecticut. In Las Vegas, winning plans must match the city’s needs, offer a feasible roadmap toward implementation, and represent innovative perspectives on economic development. The goal of the competition is to assist participating cities, including Las Vegas, in cultivating well-conceived, innovative ideas to revitalize four targeted areas within the community: Cashman Center, the Las Vegas Medical District, business parks, and existing Redevelopment projects.

In phase two, finalists’ ideas will be expanded into comprehensive economic development plans for formal presentation and review by an esteemed panel of judges. Winners will be chosen from the finalists to receive prizes from the total phase two pool of $800,000 – no strings attached.

For more information on the Las Vegas Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge, visit https://lasvegas.sc2prize.com/

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