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Urban Land Institute Nevada Announces 2022 Award Winners, Honors Mayor March as Placemaker of the Year

The ULI 2024 Fall Meeting will be held in Las Vegas.

ULI Nevada founding members Mark Fine and Henderson Mayor Debra March (Courtesy of City of Henderson)

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Urban Land Institute (ULI) Nevada held its 3rd annual Placemaking Awards for Excellence luncheon on November 2nd at the World Market Center. The ceremony honored Henderson Mayor and ULI Nevada founding member Debra March as the 2022 Placemaker of the Year. Nearly 300 people attended the event.

Founded in 1936, ULI is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, research and education organization consists of the oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts in the world. The ULI Nevada district council was established to support the best practices in real estate design and development in the local community through programs, networking events and tours. The mission of the organization is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in the community.

Mark Fine, another founding member of ULI Nevada and the 2019 Placemaker of the Year, introduced Mayor Debra March as the 2022 Placemaker of the Year.

Mayor March was elected mayor of Henderson in April 2017 and assumed office June 20, 2017. Appointed as Councilwoman to serve in Ward II in July 2009, she was subsequently elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2015. Prior to that, she was the Director of UNLV's Lied Center for Real Estate from 19996 to 2009. As a Nevada resident for more than 40 years, Mayor March has built a career on helping Henderson and Nevada become better places to live. She is also the chairwoman of the Regional Transportation Center (RTC) of Southern Nevada.

The Placemaking Awards for Excellent recognize places that generate improvement and progress; transform an area through design; engage and strengthen the community; promote activity and social interaction, and are currently being developed with a visionary idea.

During the award ceremony ten Placemaking projects in five categories, selected by a jury of industry professionals, were recognized.

The Catalytic Place award recognizes places that best generate improvement and progress to the economic development and/or standard of living in a surrounding community.

  • Public Sector Category: UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park
  • Private Sector Category: AREA15 Las Vegas

The Healthy Place award recognizes those that promote activity and social interaction through health-giving and accessible design to improve overall quality of life.

  • Suburban Category: Arioso Senior Living by Ovation Development
  • Urban Category: UnCommons

The Transformative Place award recognizes places that have transformed their respective areas through exemplary design.

  • Private Sector Category: SHARE Village Las Vegas
  • Public Sector Category: Lifeguard Arena/City of Henderson Downtown Events Plaza

The Visionary Place award recognizes the vision for a place currently under development and promising significant impact on lifestyle and the region.

  • Redevelopment Category: The Watermark
  • New Development Category: 1700 Pavilion at Downtown Summerlin

The Community Place award recognizes places that best engages and strengthens the community/neighborhood through opportunities to assemble, unite or celebrate.

  • Public Sector Category: Historic Westside Legacy Park
  • Private Sector Category: Betty’s Village

Commenting on the winners Mayor March said, “These recognitions are a true testament to the work we’ve accomplished together to make our Southern Nevada community great. Each winner exhibits an exceptional level of excellence and innovation in creating spaces and places that promote health, happiness, well-being, and quality of life. These projects can serve as models for how developers can successfully transform their communities for the better.”

ULI Nevada's leadership team each spoke about the past, present and future of the district council. Current Chair Stephanie Garcia-Vause kicked off the ceremony by thanking everyone in the room and the planning committee. Chair for Mission Advancement Richard Serfas spoke about the founding story of ULI Nevada and its mission and vision. Incoming Chair Tyler Fegert gave an overview of the current activities of the council and some of the current and future development projects in Southern Nevada that excite him the most.

Caleb Sheldon, Chair of the Young Leaders Group (YLG), spoke about YLG's mixer with UNLV's Real Estate and Business Society student organization and ULI's effort in helping young professionals to advance their career by providing networking and mentorship opportunities. Caleb is also part of the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) committee of ULI.

And Minja Yan, Chair of the Sustainable Development Council and Women's Leadership Initiative, talked about ULI Nevada's vision in creating a more sustainable, resilient and high performing community in Southern Nevada by providing a forum of exchange for ideas and emerging best practices. The Women's Leadership Initiative focuses on increasing the number and visibility of women leaders in commercial real estate and throughout ULI's global network.

ULI Nevada's Women's Leadership Initiative competed at ULI's national innovation challenge earlier this year and won a $7,000 grant for the local district council. Its idea is to use digital media to feature prominent female figures, in the past and present, who had a significant participation in the development of Southern Nevada. The event will be held in March 2023 during Women's History Month.

Tyler Fegert, Karen Kotowski, Minja Yan, Stephanie Garcia-Vause, Tara Harvey, Cayden JIang, and Caleb Sheldon (Photo from Caleb Sheldon)

One of the special guests was Karen Kotowski, Vice President of District Councils at ULI. In 2024, ULI will host its national Fall Meeting in Las Vegas.

Upcoming events at ULI Nevada:

  • November 17th, 2022: City of Las Vegas 2050 Master Plan Presentation
  • December 14th, 2022: Emerging Trends in Real Estate Presentation
  • January 2023: Healthcare Real Estate: Hospital Tour with SR Construction
  • January 2023: Water Wise: Strategies for Drought-Resilient Development
  • March 2023: "The Queens of Las Vegas" Women's History Month Celebration
  • March 30th, 2023: UrbanPlan for Public Officials
  • Fall 2024: ULI Fall Meeting in Las Vegas

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