In Case You Missed It, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s legislation to help create thousands of new jobs at the Apex Industrial Park is gaining momentum in the Senate. Cortez Masto’s legislation will allow many new businesses to expand operations in this area by addressing an outdated and overly burdensome permitting process.
By Katie Ann McCarver
Apex Industrial Park, the more than 7,000-acre swath of land in North Las Vegas set aside for manufacturing and development, is one step closer to fulfilling its promise to bolster the local economy by providing hundreds of thousands of jobs for locals and billions in revenue.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., recently shepherded passage of legislation with bipartisan support in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with the goal of easing a burdensome permit process for businesses hoping to build in the area, which she toured in July.
“We are grateful for Sen. Cortez Masto’s continued support and efforts to streamline and simplify the process for businesses interested in Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas,” North Las Vegas Mayor Pamela Goynes-Brown said in a statement. “North Las Vegas stands at the forefront of industrial development in Southern Nevada.”
Cortez Masto’s legislation, the Apex Area Technical Correction Act, is targeted at simplifying what officials called an outdated and difficult process for businesses developing on the land to obtain permits from the Bureau of Land Management for sewer, gas, power and more.
The legislation would allow the city of North Las Vegas and the Apex Industrial Park Owners Association to issue permits and get new and existing businesses the utilities they need to operate. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House.
“Those partnerships and support have obviously helped propel Apex into what it is and what it will continue to become,” Luke said. “But it’s definitely not something that happens overnight … And so that partnership is a little bit unique, where the state, the city and the individual landowners and developers have partnered together to create an industrial park that is going to be a catalyst and economic driver for Southern Nevada for years.”
“The central focus is figuring out solving Apex,” said Juden, who noted that Apex had the potential to generate 116,000-plus jobs and close to $200 billion in direct and indirect economic development, “because of the promise of jobs and economic diversification and growth that it promised for the region.”
Development at the park and its water and sewer lines are now in parallel, he said, meaning that by the time businesses are building their property, utilities will be available in their area.
While water has certainly been one of Apex’s biggest challenges, government support at all levels has affected it greatly, said Dave Brown, president of LDA, a supplier and middleman between BLM and businesses in the Apex Industrial Park.
He specifically credited Cortez Masto for carrying the Apex legislation through the Senate, as well as the city of North Las Vegas. The latter’s dedication to Apex has made it that much more marketable to companies, said Brown, who added that the park’s size and price point also help bring in business.
“They’ve lived up to their mantra,” he said. “We have a weekly meeting with them every Thursday. We go over all our projects. They ask what they can do, where they can help, and they really are a partner in Apex. So it’s made it fantastic, with the ability to develop an industrial park like this.”
In addition to Air Liquide and Dermody properties, Apex has also become home to an 885,000-square-foot Smith’s grocery distribution center and a 1 million-square-foot Crocs distribution center, with each business creating hundreds of jobs.
“Now we’re good to enjoy the spoils of victory, because it was obviously in the trenches for so many years,” Brown said. “So it really feels like we get to do our victory lap right now and tell everybody, ‘See, we told you Apex would be a reality.’ ”
Developments like Apex are good for Nevada, and bills like the one she shepherded out of committee in September help businesses cut through red tape so they can ultimately create jobs and boost the economy, Cortez Masto told the Sun.
“This is the benefit we have in Nevada,” she said. “We have this land and we can use it for purposes that invite different types of businesses to come in that we know can be successful in Nevada. And if we work together in this case, where we’re streamlining the permitting process to ensure that these businesses can get on the ground and open that much quicker, that’s a benefit.”
Apex is probably only one-third complete, with about 4,000 acres left to develop, Brown said. The water line is making its way out to the park’s northern section, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority has put over $250 million into Apex to both sustain where it’s at now, and also contribute to its growth going forward. The city of North Las Vegas additionally has earmarked millions for the extension of wastewater sewer services.
“So I think what you’re going to see now is really that regional growth that everybody has been expecting out of Apex,” he said. “So we’ve got it started. We’ve got it on the tracks moving, and I think the sky’s the limit now for Apex.”