Black developers refuse to work with De León on $1.6-billion Angels Landing project in North Las Vegas
By Jennifer S. Hirsch
18 September 2016
On Tuesday, City Council members from North Las Vegas voted to approve a $1.6-billion development deal with billionaire developer Douglas De León, despite City Manager Pete Garcetti’s recommendation to reject the plan.
In November 2014, the City Council had approved a $2.6-billion development deal with De León for a major casino, hotel and real estate project on the site of the existing airport. That deal was contingent on the demolition of a large, environmentally devastating concrete dam on U.S. Route 91. In December 2014, the City Council voted 5 to 2 in favor of the proposal.
On the same day, the Council voted 13 to 6 to approve a $1.6-billion development deal with De León for an even larger casino, hotel and real estate project on the site of the existing airport. The project would also include a controversial new airport facility and a new $20-billion, state-of-the-art transportation hub, including a new light rail system and high-speed rail (SLS).
The development would be a three-way partnership between De León, the Las Vegas Airport Authority (LVA) and its partner Southwestern Nevada Holdings (SWH), in what the New York Times has described as the “largest single package of land uses in Las Vegas history.”
The City Council had approved a $1.1-billion development deal with Southwestern Nevada, but SWH had rejected the plan in November 2014, citing concerns over traffic and costs. In response, SWH had submitted a competing plan, which had already been rejected by the LVA.
The City Council voted 9 to 3 to approve the development deal with SWH after a lengthy discussion, in which Council members expressed reservations about the deal. Councilman Gary Koehler, who is from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, stated his opposition to the deal, citing the LVA’s decision to deny the SWH plan for more than two years. “I feel like they made a decision that we couldn’t change,” he said in December 2014.
Councilman Dave Roberts, who is from the Las Vegas Review