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5/14/2013 7:56:02 AM

Henderson, on the southeast corner of Las Vegas, is a city formed during WWII. During that time the city had more than ten thousand workers, working in magnesium smelting plants, producing materials for bomb shells and airplane engines. One quarter of the power generated by nearby Hoover Dam were consumed here. Also, one quarter of the magnesium used in the Eurasia war theater were produced here.

 At that time, Water Street was the busiest place in town. However, after war ends, with the closing of the plants, city population dropped down to less than 7000.

Today’s Henderson, with a population of 200,000, has been developed into the second largest city in Nevada. It ranks at 66th as the most desirable small to midsize cities to live in America. It has the Lake Las Vegas, the Seven Hills and Anthem, with their rows of luxury properties. On the other hand, the old section of Henderson, Water Street, where the city hall is located, retains the look it had at the end of WWII. It looks like it has been sleeping for decades.

City Assemblyman Gerri Scheroder wants to develop Water Street, remaking it in the image of Main Street of Palm Springs, lined it primarily with galleries and restaurants, in order to attract tourists. One artist in Los Angeles recommends one well-known clay sculptor in Foushan, Guangdong, to work on a giant clay status of Buddha, and have it placed it in front of the City Hall, so as to promote the art district of Henderson. He would donate it. Assemblyman Gerri immediately wrote an invitation letter to the master sculptor in China. It took three months before the master sculptor received a visa to come over.

Upon arrival, the master went to an elementary school in the morning to demonstrate clay sculpturing and created a teddy bear. In the afternoon, City Hall staged a welcoming ceremony, having city officials lined up to welcome the master sculptor. In the evening, Assemblyman entertained him in a Chinese gourmet restaurant decorated with WWII paintings. However, after this elaborated tour, this master sculptor went home and was not heard since.

Water Street’s zip code is 89015. There are 69 houses on the market, of which 9 are selling for more than $200,000, 15 are selling between $100,000 and $200,000, 34 are selling under $100,000 and the lowest price one is selling for $45,000. This last one is built in 1942 and has 3 bedrooms, 1 bath but no garage. Henderson’s population is 80% white, and most houses are built during WWII.

There are luxury houses not far from Water Street. The most expensive one is asking 1.5 million. It has 4 bedrooms, 8 baths, a 3 car garage and it was built in 2007. It has 6441 sq ft and occupies a lot of 37,026 sq ft.

Currently, Water Street has bookstore, florist shop and jewel stores loosely dotted the street. It also has three small casinos. During weekends, the main streets usually have handicraft vendors and farmer market. Some small businesses have also slowly moved into this area. To those small developers from outside, this is a place to test the water of real estate market. They are converting old buildings. The small town which has slumbered for decades seems to show signs of waking up.

For those who are thinking of investing in small commercial real estate, better not overlook Water Street!