“Value-added” is a concept that real estate developer and UNLV supporter Mark Fine believes in, whether he is discussing one of the master planned communities he helped create or the UNLV School of Medicine.
Fine, who played instrumental roles in developing both Green Valley and Summerlin, long has been a supporter of UNLV, and was quick to support its new School of Medicine. In addition to supporting scholarships, he also has shared his expertise on the physical school design and planning.
The opening of that school is a perfect example of value added to UNLV and to Southern Nevada, said Fine, who has served on the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees since 1985.
Producing physicians focused on research-driven medicine, Fine said, “is major value added. The more brain power we have in the community, the more the community thrives. More doctors are going to live here, move here.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with every UNLV president since the mid-1970s, each one taking the school to another level,” Fine said. “I was around when it was transitioning from a kind of community college to a university — when it was more about athletics than academics. It’s astounding how UNLV has grown since that time, becoming one of the nation’s top public research universities.”
Fine and his wife, Gloria, along with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn and former Mayor Oscar Goodman, established a four-year scholarship in UNLV's School of Medicine. Their landmark donation in 2017 helped expand the medical school programs. In 2018, they were inducted into the UNLV Palladium Society in recognition of their leadership in giving.
Fine credits Dr. Barbara Atkinson, founding medical school dean with taking the school in the right direction.
“Value added” was something with which Fine was very familiar before his involvement with the Medical School.
Developing Southern Nevada
Now in his 70s, Fine was just 27 when his then-father-in-law, Las Vegas Sun owner Hank Greenspun, tapped him to develop thousands of acres of land Greenspun had purchased in Henderson.
Fine, who had graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in real estate administration, thought back to his boyhood in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with its parks, libraries, schools, and public art, all of which, he said, helped build a strong sense of community.
When he first began working on the development of Green Valley, Southern Nevadans were largely unaware of what a master planned community could be, he said. They needed to be educated about the parks, churches, dance studios, restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, schools, public art, and libraries that should be part of such a development and how they add value to a neighborhood by helping to build a sense of community.
That education effort eventually paid off.
Green Valley was a success. That prompted the Howard Hughes Corp. in 1990 to hire Fine to develop Summerlin.
“We’d already shown the value of a master planned community, and there was demand for it on the west side (of the valley),” he recalled.
Again, there was success. By 1994 Green Valley and Summerlin were the two fastest growing master planned communities in the country.
Later he became a development advisor to the master planned communities of Queensridge North and South, Mountain’s Edge, and Esperada. With his son, Jeffrey, Fine stared Fine Properties in 2005, developing projects that include the 400,000-square-foot Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Headquarters.
While he has thoroughly enjoyed developing approximately 2 million square feet of commercial and retail projects during his career — the Nevada Business Journal named Fine one of Nevada’s Top 50 Leaders — he frequently brings up his relationship with UNLV without prompting.
“The future of UNLV is great,” said Fine, who has traveled to Carson City to meet with legislators on the university’s behalf. “The UNLV School of Medicine has added much more value to a university we can all be proud of.”