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Developer plans more retail at The District at Green Valley Ranch

Updated August 19, 2020 - 11:55 am

A longtime local developer has drawn up plans for more retail at The District at Green Valley Ranch, years after it lost the Henderson complex to foreclosure.

American Nevada Co. is looking to build 17,687 square feet of restaurant, retail and office space on a 2-acre lot it still owns at the property, Henderson city records show.

The plans, which come as Las Vegas’ economy remains on rocky ground because of the coronavirus pandemic, follow American Nevada’s steep real estate sell-off in recent years. They also represent a full-circle moment of sorts for the Henderson developer.

American Nevada opened The District during Southern Nevada’s frenzied mid-2000s real estate boom, lost the mixed-use project to foreclosure after the market crashed, and saw its value rebound as the economy regained its footing.

Phil Ralston, American Nevada’s president, figures the company will be able to decide by early next year whether to start construction on the new project based on prospective tenants’ interest in the space.

Pandemic concerns

The project site is west of Green Valley Parkway and just south along the 215 Beltway. Asked whether it made him nervous to pursue the development amid the pandemic, Ralston said that has been a “serious conversation” at American Nevada.

If the firm does not have a commitment for a “significant portion” of the building by the time it’s ready to start construction, it will probably hold off on the project, he indicated.

“That’s the question, really,” Ralston said.

American Nevada, launched in the 1970s by the late Las Vegas Sun publisher Hank Greenspun and his late wife, Barbara, is perhaps best-known for developing Henderson’s Green Valley master-planned community.

It built The District on both sides of Green Valley Parkway just south of the Beltway, opening it in phases in 2004 and 2006. The complex includes retail and restaurant space with such tenants as Whole Foods Market, Rachel’s Kitchen and REI, as well as office space and condos.

Boom years

The District was one of many big real estate projects in the valley during the boom years. After the real estate bubble burst and broader economy tanked, it was one of countless properties in Southern Nevada to face financial problems as well.

Lenders reportedly were owed about $100 million and, property records show, foreclosed on The District in 2011. Later that year, Phoenix real estate firm Vestar and New York’s Rockwood Capital teamed up to buy the complex for $79 million.

Vestar bought Rockwood’s stake in the project for $120 million in 2015, saying the deal gave it full ownership of the 37-acre retail complex.

Vestar spokeswoman Rachel Forman said last week that company officials “do not have a comment” on American Nevada’s new project proposal.

American Nevada undertook a real estate selling spree well before the pandemic upended daily life. By fall 2018, it had sold 1.26 million square feet of holdings in the valley for around $234 million over the course of a few years, Ralston previously confirmed.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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