Why North Las Vegas is so excited about new master-planned community

Valley Vista, a new master-planned community in North Las Vegas, will include an elementary school and commercial plots across 600 acres of planned development. The project was made possible because of a bond sale facilitated by the city.

“The message is investors are excited about North Las Vegas,” said John Lee, the city’s mayor, in a news release. “It’s no secret why — we have overhauled our city to offer the best customer service, the fastest permitting, the most efficient licensing and arguably the biggest returns.”

The city tapped brokerage firm Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. to underwrite nearly $34 million in Valley Vista infrastructure — things like curb and gutter installation, sidewalks, streetlights and sewer — improvement bonds. Valley Vista will be built at Decatur Boulevard and Elkhorn Road, near Aliante Casino.

The city is a pass-through entity for the non-obligation bonds, which will go to Valley Vista’s developers, D.R. Horton and Lennar Corp., for past and future infrastructure work on the massive project, North Las Vegas officials said.

To pay off the debt, homeowners in the community will be assessed a standalone special improvement district tax.

William Harty, the city’s finance director, said the yield rate of 4.21% for the bonds — what he said is the lowest on record for a non-rated SID in Nevada — is well below borrowing costs for projects similar to Valley Vista around the U.S.

“The bigger picture is that the pieces are in place now for North Las Vegas,” Harty said. “The city was among the hardest hit during the recession, but the current administration has turned things around. We’re investment-worthy now and things are coming along really well.”

Harty and other city officials say the low yield rate for the bonds will ultimately result in lower costs for builders and homebuyers.

Homes are currently being sold for four of the community’s neighborhoods. Prices range from the low-to-mid $300,000s for homes between 1,600 to 2,000 square feet.