As the West Las Vegas community nears three years without a grocery store in its midst, a developer is once again promising to deliver a full-size grocer if the city signs on the dotted line.
Now, the city wants to hear from the community.
The city of Las Vegas will hold a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. today to discuss bringing a grocery store into the area.
The meeting was called by interim Councilwoman Brenda Williams, as the city considered last month entering into exclusive negotiations with a local developer.
Laurich Properties, Inc., is asking the city to allow it to be the company to bring in a grocery store.
The meeting, at Doolittle Community Center at 1950 N. J Street, will include Mayor Oscar Goodman, the city’s Office of Business Development, and an update by John Edmond from Edmond Town Center.
Williams said at the April 18 City Council meeting she believed the community should be heard on the issue. She also said that any decision on whether to enter into a contract should be made by the council person voters choose on June 5.
Williams was appointed to the Ward 5 City Council seat on April 4 to fill the vacancy left when Lawrence Weekly was named to the Clark County Commission.
Ricki Barlow and Stacie Truesdell will face off to decide who will occupy the seat.
Both candidates said Monday they wanted more information before deciding on whether to support the contract.
Barlow, a former aide to Weekly when he was a councilman, said he understands why a developer would want an exclusive negotiating agreement with the city.
“It gives them leverage to go out and speak with major anchor tenants,” he said. “It adds validity and seriousness to development projects.”
But he said the agreement would largely prevent the city from speaking with other developers and grocery stores.
“It quiets the city temporarily,” he said.
Barlow and Truesdell both said they would be at the town hall meeting listening to what residents and the developer has to say.
“I’ll be there as a listening ear, taking diligent notes to get a gauge of what direction I should go in once I take a council seat,” Barlow said.
Truesdell said, “At this point, I’m looking forward to getting more information about the proposal submitted to the city and getting more information about what the community thinks of the proposal.”
If eventually approved, this wouldn’t be the first time the city has entered into exclusive negotiations with a developer promising a grocery store for the historically black neighborhood.
In December 2005, with Weekly’s support, the council entered into a one-year agreement with a New York developer. That developer failed to bring in a grocer.
A Vons in the community closed in 2004. Since then, the city has tried to attract a grocery store. It has dangled $5 million in incentives for a grocer willing to develop in the community, but has had no takers so far.