NLV backs off plan to buy Texas Station land for mixed use development

State senator decries city’s failure to help owners of sinking homes

By: - April 26, 2023 6:01 am

“The City of North Las Vegas is not buying the Texas Stations property, nor has Council allocated $80 million dollars for this site,” says a missive from the city’s Government Affairs Team.(Photo: Ronda Churchill/Nevada Current)

The City of North Las Vegas says it’s not buying 73 acres of vacant land at the sites of the bulldozed Texas Station and Fiesta, despite a request to the state to pitch in $10 million in funds earmarked for affordable housing toward the $80 million price tag.

In September of last year, city manager Ryann Juden wrote to the state housing division of a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to purchase the land “and transform what is currently a stark reminder of the economic devastation caused by COVID into a solution for the region’s attainable housing crisis.”

Judenn told the state the city intended to purchase all 73 acres, “with the final acquisition dependent on the amount of support Home Means Nevada funds.” 

Home Means Nevada is a $500 million housing initiative implemented during Gov. Steve Sisolak’s administration and made possible by federal American Rescue Plan Act funding following a lengthy series of meetings and public comment focused on the need for affordable housing.  

Juden said the city’s vision “lays out a plan for a vibrant community comprised of 1,004 residential units, 10 acres of commercial retail space and seven acres of open space for residents to enjoy.”

Of 1,004 residential units planned for the project, 270 were designated as affordable, according to Juden’s letter.

Affordable housing is generally defined by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as  that which costs the occupant no more than 30 percent of gross income, including utilities. Juden’s letter makes no mention of a low-income housing component to the project. 

Nevada has a shortage of 84,000 low-income rental units, according to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition.

NLV’s proposed purchase came to light April 6 when Sen. Dina Neal inquired about the city’s grant request to the state during a meeting of the Interim Finance Committee.  

Steve Aicroth of the Nevada Housing Division told the committee that NLV intended to assemble money from its general fund, the American Rescue Plan, and a $10 million grant from the state to fund the purchase. 

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Neal said following Aicroth’s presentation. Neal wants NLV to contribute $20 million and the state to add $10 million to relocate the remaining 90 homeowners in Windsor Park, a predominantly Black neighborhood where homes have been sinking since the 1980s. She said the city “is claiming that they don’t have any money to do the work of housing or relocation, and … $80 million just happens to fall out of the sky for freakin’ Texas Station.”

Now, in an undated attachment emailed to the IFC hours after its April 6 meeting, NLV says the deal is off. 

“The City of North Las Vegas is not buying the Texas Stations property, nor has Council allocated $80 million dollars for this site,” says the missive from the city’s Government Affairs Team. 

Assistant City Manager Delen Goldberg did not respond to requests for comment. Station Casinos declined to respond. 

“It is just disheartening to me that the city that represents these individuals would find $80 million to do something on vacant land and not even consider those 90 residents who are living in poverty, potentially with lead poisoning and every other potential hazard that is on those properties and that they have no interest in trying to use any of their money to help these families,” Neal said during the IFC hearing.   

Earlier this month, the city’s finance director was unable to tell Neal how NLV spent $14 million in federal funds earmarked in 1994 for Windsor Park residents. 

Some homeowners accepted $50,000 at the time  to relocate. Others, who had built up equity in their properties and didn’t want to start over, declined the offer. 

The Current also requested a breakdown of how the city spent federal funds intended for Windsor Park homeowners but it has not been provided. Mayor Pamela Goynes-Brown has not responded to questions submitted by the Current.  

“It is my understanding the deal isn’t off,” Neal told the Current on Tuesday.

Neal says she’d like to see NLV provide homes in the same neighborhood for Windsor Park residents. The Texas Station land would do just fine, she says. 

In the state’s eyes, NLV is still pursuing the deal, Aicroth said this week. “North Las Vegas has not canceled its request for the $10 million.”

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.