WEST WENDOVER, Nev. (AP) – A federal grant is giving the northeast Nevada city of West Wendover a boost toward building a ground-up downtown that it never had before.

The $1.75 million allocation from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration aims to help the city prepare a site for new business opportunities, Nevada’s U.S. senators, Democrats Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, said in a Thursday news release.

Mayor Daniel Corona told the Elko Daily Free Press the hope is to create a downtown area for development of small shops and multi-family housing.

The grant will fund a first-phase Pueblo Boulevard extension – adding 900 feet (274 meters) to the road along with infrastructure, water, sewer and storm drains.

The development is expected to open 60 acres (24.3 hectares) of land to attract private investment to a space for small businesses, affordable condominium and townhouse units, Corona said.

“We really envision it as a place where people can live, work and play in one area where the general community can gather,” he said.

Concept art posted on the City of West Wendover website by Green Thumb Design Studio of Park City, Utah, shows a pedestrian-friendly landscaped development with colored concrete, a plaza with public art space, an events lawn, splash pad and bike lanes.

The city has already received $500,000 in state Community Development Block Grants. The remaining cost is to be paid through a long-term U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Loan approved by the city in 2018.

Corona said work could start this summer and the site could be ready for private development in 2022.

West Wendover, with about 4,200 residents, is on Interstate 80 at the Utah state line. It borders the Utah city of Wendover, with about 1,000 residents.

Elko County, including West Wendover, is a designated federal Opportunity Zone.

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