An online petition is garnering signatures from people who oppose plans to replace the District at Green Valley Ranch’s pedestrian thoroughfare with a two-way street.
The petition, on change.org, has 52 supporters so far and was launched by a user identified as Henderson resident Cheryl Nestico. It says District owner Vestar Development is “putting profits over the safety of their patrons and our residents” and that families and children “enjoy being able to meander back and forth across the walkways to shop and dine.”
The petition also says the District’s current layout “makes it more difficult for criminals to commit theft and burglary on shops. Providing vehicle access would allow them a faster means of escape, thus further endangering the shoppers, visitors and vehicles.”
Another concern, the petition says, is that the District’s “feel” and “beautiful park-like setting” — key attractions of the Henderson development — would be tarnished by cars driving through and creating noise and fumes.
“If you take that charm away, people will leave and shop somewhere else,” the petition says. “It will be just another mundane mall, and a small one at that!”
With the $5 million makeover, Phoenix-based Vestar says it hopes to boost business at the center. Company officials have been planning the changes since buying the District more than a year ago and aim to finish construction by October, Jeff Axtell, vice president of acquisitions and development, has said.
A spokesperson for Vestar did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment about the petition.
The District, which has retail, office and residential space, was built in two phases on both sides of Green Valley Parkway just south of the 215 Beltway. The 16-acre east side, which has a Whole Foods Market and other tenants, already offers vehicular access throughout the plaza. The new roadway would be built in the 21.5-acre western portion, though the idea of seeing cars drive through isn’t new.
When that phase opened in 2004, a road bisected it in the same place where the new street is slated to be built. In 2005, then-owner American Nevada Co. replaced the road with a pedestrian mall.
Vestar, through a joint venture with investment firm Rockwood Capital, bought the District in October 2011 for $79 million cash from lenders who had foreclosed on the project earlier that year. The Greenspun family, owner of VEGAS INC and the Las Vegas Sun, developed the District through American Nevada.