Nogales, Arizona (KGUN) —Once once one of Nogales’ busiest streets, attracting business from Sonora, Mexico and Arizona.
Today, more than half of the business is abandoned.
“In fact, Morley Street is at stake,” said Mayor Arturo Galino of Nogales.
Mayor Galino said it was the result of a pandemic.
Cross-border travel, the city’s usual source of sales tax, was hit and it was what the city felt.
“It all depends on the time of year, but 65-70% of our sales tax comes from people in Nogales, Sonora,” he said.
He said the city of Nogales made up for it with federal dollars, but he knows the city can’t depend on it forever.
“We need the federal government to open a harbor for people who aren’t important to come across,” he explained.
He thinks it is feasible, as more than 80% of border cities are vaccinated.
One of the few businesses open is La Cinderella on the corner of a historic street. He agreed that the border should be opened.
“I can’t wait for them to open. I just want to get my customers back,” said Gregory Kory, a third-generation retailer.
Collie’s family has owned La Cinderella since 1945.
It’s an understatement that he said it was difficult to keep the store open during the pandemic.
“I think we’ve lost 80% of our revenue. We’re running in smoke,” he said.
Mayor Galino and the city council are working to determine what can be done to renovate the historic retail district.
It’s a challenge to know that Galino is not easy.
“It can be done in different ways. It doesn’t have to be a clothing store. It could be some kind of restaurant, cafe or office space,” Garino said.
Collie is pleased that the city council is paying attention.
“There are lots of vacancies. If anyone is in commercial real estate, I think this is a great place to buy,” he said.
Garino hasn’t decided anything yet, but explained plans to consider ways to connect business owners and real estate owners so companies can easily fill vacancies.
“How can I create an incentive to help them? If someone wants to put something in the store and needs construction, building permits, water connections, development costs, etc. We. You can help with that, “Galino said.
For now, Collie is grateful to the customers he has and intends to do what is necessary to maintain his store.
“Do what you need to survive,” Collie said.
Discussions on economic revitalization will continue with a study session of the city council on August 4.