The agreement allows the health system to examine whether the land would support a research and medical facility, additional parking, and what kind of specialty centers should be built in Las Vegas.
Under the deal, the city of Las Vegas could also donate some of the property as part of any final deal, and Clinic officials have already started conceiving plans on their presence there.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman on Wednesday spoke as if future facility was a done deal. “Cleveland Clinic knows we embrace their presence and we welcome them to our community,” Goodman said.
Brian Smith, the Clinic’s director of strategic project development, told the council: “We do look forward to bringing forth a wonderful project.”
The agreements approved Wednesday explore the potential for a 8.9-acre site — essentially a feasibility study by a student who performs work such as environmental tests on the land. The Clinic and its development partner on the project, a non-profit organization called City Parkway V, have until the end of November to agree on a development pact.
City officials have for roughly six years wanted to bring the clinic to town, and at the City Council meeting they called the development agreement one of the most important in Las Vegas’ history.
The Clinic established a presence recently with the opening of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The highly specialized clinical center aims at advancing research, early detection and treatment of neurological diseases. The expansion would be adjacent to the Ruvo Center.
Larry Ruvo, the founder of that facility, told the City Council on Wednesday that the facility will likely see 12,000 patients in its first year, is hiring five new physicians and hotels are already booking rooms for patients there. He also said he’s working with the Clinic to expand into Reno, Nevada.