Laura Jane (LJ) Spina knows a good thing when she sees it. As president and CEO of RAFI Architecture and Design, an architecture, design, and land planning firm located on Water Street and founded by her father, Robert Fielden, LJ now heads this second-generation company.
With a portfolio that includes such iconic Southern Nevada projects as the Citibank building, NV Energy offices, RTC of Southern Nevada, Flood Control District building, and the West Charleston campus of College of Southern Nevada, RAFI could have landed anywhere in the Las Vegas valley. But according to LJ, Water Street was an easy and obvious choice for the company that has long been a proponent of redevelopment.
“We wanted to put our money where our mouth was,” said LJ of RAFI’s move to Water Street in 2011. “There is no place in the valley like Water Street,” she said. “The juxtaposition and merger of slick and shiny with historic and authentic is real here. We were the first tenants to move into the new art-déco-inspired Meridian Building which sits in the middle of a very historic district – truly the best of both worlds. And we are in excellent company with other architects like Windom Kimsey and Ann Johnson, as well as engineering firms, Broadbent & Associates and Professional Design Associates. The fact that we’ve all ended up here speaks volumes about the attractiveness of the area and our mutual belief in its future.”
LJ says her team has always believed in Water Street and finds the current surge of redevelopment even more exciting. “With the opening of catalyst projects like Lifeguard Arena and a spate of new restaurants and bars, Water Street is entering a new chapter of growth while still retaining its historic charm. Pull up a chair. This one will be fun to watch.”