City of North Las Vegas' newly-elected mayor Pamela Goynes-Brown is discussing her goals to continue developing the city.
During her State of the City address on Thursday, she said North Las Vegas is "synonymous with economic development." One goal she said she has is creating a well-defined downtown area.
"We haven't had one as far as I can remember," Goynes-Brown said. "It's very important people have a reason to get off the 15 and head east on Lake Mead and see what's there."
Meanwhile, locals said they want to see elected officials address the rising homeless problem and trash on the streets before committing to business development.
"Where does everybody else go? You already have the city overrun by homelessness," Las Vegas resident Jay Smith said. "Figure that out first before thinking about developing a downtown area."
Smith said having a downtown area wouldn't prompt him to come to North Las Vegas more often.
"What's the point of doing a downtown North Las Vegas when downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street, is only five minutes away from here," Smith said.
Goynes-Brown said in terms of combating homelessness, it's about reaching this population where they are. She also said she wants to erase the idea that North Las Vegas is an unsafe community.
"The biggest thing is to build that trust with our unhoused community. Once we can build that trust, we can give them the services they need," Goynes-Brown said. "North Las Vegas is a safe place to live, raise, and play with your kids so that stigma [that North Las Vegas is unsafe] is no longer."
Gorditas El Lagunero #2 food truck owner Yasmin Valadez parks her business in the area Mayor Goynes-Brown wants to develop downtown. She said she often feels unsafe in her community, especially at night.
"After 5 p.m., it's always unsafe here," Valadez said. "We always try to have a guy around."
She hopes the downtown development means a safer and cleaner city.
"I think it will make [North Las Vegas] better and safe," Valadez said. "Hopefully, they can remove the shelters that are so close by. Hopefully, we can get safer around the area."
The downtown development project is called North Las Vegas Village. Property developers Agora Realty and Management are in charge of the development.
President of Acquisition and Leasing Aaron Lefton said construction should ramp up quickly over the next couple of months and the project is set to be completed by the end of 2024.
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