Writing a guest column in the Las Vegas Sun, Mayor John Lee expressed his views on the obligations of a government to provide its constituents with economic growth opportunities. While doing so, he reflected on the long road it took to get his Apex Industrial Park project to its current, steady pace.
Mayor Lee expressed gratitude at the various governmental entities that “have worked together to overcome institutional barriers, regional silos and parochial differences” in order to attract “companies looking to locate where they can partner with government to do business.”
Finally — in the context of recent criticisms and skepticism levelled at one of Apex’s biggest backers, the Faraday Future corporation — Mayor Lee had harsh words for cynics and naysayers. He referred to certain “absurd comments made by political opportunists” and described them as “contrary to the cooperative efforts successfully transforming our region.”
Through his words, Mayor Lee set a tone of optimism and defiance against the type of negativity that does nothing to uplift the fortunes of an ailing city as he has set out to do.
A Reflection on Past Successes
As part of his initial comments, Mayor John Lee described the efforts it took to revive the city of North Las Vegas’ ailing economy and develop a job-creation engine like Apex.
“We set out a simple plan,” he wrote, “create an environment welcoming to businesses, develop innovative financial tools to encourage private sector investment in infrastructure, and go out and recruit companies.”
Mayor Lee contrasted this approach with the alternatives that others may have taken in his stead, such as raising taxes instead of “[growing] our tax rolls by attracting new businesses to build on our large tracts of open land.”
He credits the city’s dedication to “eliminating red tape” and revamping their approach to businesses in a customer-service-focused way as one of the key methods the city benefited form when it came to attracting tenants to Apex Industrial Park. He also noted the efforts the city took to actively court upstart industrial players who could benefit the most from investing in Apex.
Faraday Future represented the perfect candidate, emphasized Mayor Lee, because their initial investment could cause other major players to take notice of the opportunities the Apex site presented.
And notice they did. Lee highlights several of the major players now moving to North Las Vegas’ industrial areas, including Fanatics, Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond and The Honest Co. In total, 10 million square feet of industrial development are entering construction in the coming months.
Clarification and Chastisement for Faraday Future Critics
Mayor John Lee also used his guest column to urge unfounded criticisms of Faraday Future to cease. He clarified that the company itself has backed up the needed development of Apex through landowner equity, cash reserves and capitalized interest.
“The only one at risk, should the Faraday project fail, is Faraday Future,” Mayor Lee promised.
This response comes as many political opponents and economic pundits weigh in on their skepticism that Faraday Future would fulfill their obligations to the city. Mayor Lee and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval have both recently assured the public that multiple safeguards are in place to protect the public and the future solvency of the Apex project should Faraday renege on their intentions to build an electric vehicle plant.