Stretch of North Las Vegas’ Craig Road to be ‘restaurant row’

Construction is expected to start April 9 on Cafe Rio, Blaze Pizza and other restaurants on Craig Road and Bruce Street in North Las Vegas. (Darryll Brandwine, d3 Design Studios)

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Construction is expected to start April 9 on the first Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Southern Nevada, along with Jersey Mike’s, Blaze Pizza and Cafe Rio, on a stretch of Craig Road that has been designated as “restaurant row” of North Las Vegas.

The eateries are slated to open this year on vacant land on the northeast corner Craig and Bruce Street and catty-corner to the Cannery, developer Mitch Ogron said.

Within the next few months, Ogron said, he will start looking for additional chain restaurants to move to the northwest corner of the intersection. And by the end of 2019, a mix of eateries and automotive-service businesses are slated to open on the southwest end of the intersection.

“The tenants want to be here because Craig Road is the most heavily traveled east-west arterial road in North Las Vegas …” Ogron said.

Mayor John Lee referred to North Las Vegas as a “food desert” with few options back when a handful of residents opposed the arrival of a Jack in the Box at Aliante and Centennial parkways in November 2016.

The City Council narrowly approved that project, and city officials have since made an effort to attract high-quality chain restaurants with a focus on Craig Road.

“It’s truly transformational,” said Gina Gavan, economic and business development director for North Las Vegas. “In the next 10 to 12 months, the whole corridor is going to be unrecognizably different.”

As part of that transformation, Gavan and Lee are trying to strike up a deal to develop 40 acres owned by Nellis Air Force Base at Craig Road and North Fifth Street.

A chain link-fence surrounds the vast property, where the Air Force has a pair of small wells that connect to a water line leading to Nellis.

Gavan said that negotiations are underway to consolidate the wells into a single water source so the rest of the land can be developed into businesses that are “mutually beneficial” to the city and the Air Force.

“As we’ve grown, the Air Force has started to realize that it’s important for us to reach some sort of agreement on how to develop this land that’s essentially at the center of our city,” Gavan said.

Farther west, developers plan additional restaurants and medical offices on the vacant land surrounding the Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospital at Craig and Camino Al Norte/Martin Luther King Boulevard.

The property recently was rezoned for commercial use, and underground infrastructure is being laid, said Dan Sullivan, director of development for Eastern Real Estate.

Sullivan declined to name prospective tenants for the area, but Ogron said construction will start May 1 on a Starbucks at Craig and Scott Robinson Boulevard.

“North Las Vegas has rebounded substantially,” Sullivan said. “I think the market has finally corrected itself to make these projects possible.”

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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