Nahata Dziil community celebrates grand opening of new shopping center
NAHATA DZIIL, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer congratulated the community of Nahata Dziil as the Navajo Nation achieved another milestone with the completion of the Nahata Dziil Shopping Center. Hundreds of local residents and officials gathered on Wednesday, to celebrate the grand opening of the new shopping center, which includes a Bashas’ grocery store, Pizza Edge, and a laundromat.
The Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development’s Project Development Office worked hard for years to address challenges including the need for a land exchange with the federal government for the site of the shopping center, the development of a new water source and wastewater system, and securing funds for the construction of the shopping center.
“I am truly thankful to the staff at the Division of Economic Development and the Nahata Dziil Commission Governance for overcoming the many challenges over the years in order to make this a success for the community of Nahata Dziil and the Navajo Nation,” said President Nez.
According to the Division of Economic Development, future plans include the development of a gas station, convenience store, and a Dairy Queen, which are currently under review by the Navajo Area Indian Health Service Office of Environmental Health and Engineering. The shopping center will create 120 new jobs and increase tax revenue for the Navajo Nation.
Vice President Lizer, a long-time business owner, said the project is another big step forward for the Nez-Lizer administration’s “Buy Navajo, Buy Local” initiative.
“Since taking office, we’ve been encouraging everyone to support local businesses and Navajo entrepreneurs through the notion of Buy Navajo, Buy Local and that’s exactly what this project represents,” stated Vice President Lizer.
The shopping center is located near the Interstate-40 exit, which is a prime location for local residents and those traveling through the community.
“Not only does this garner more tax revenue and creates jobs, but it also provides much needed food products and services for local Navajo residents who would otherwise have to drive to nearby border towns to purchase products,” added President Nez, who added that he is pleased to see the store offering many healthy fruits and vegetables for Navajo people.
The market was partially funded through the Permanent Trust Fund Income Five-Year Expenditure Plan approved by the 23rd Navajo Nation Council and the Office of the President and Vice President in 2016, which allocated $150 million for economic development and agriculture development projects, and water infrastructure development from the annual interest earned from the principle.
Members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council in attendance included Speaker Seth Damon, Council Delegates Raymond Smith, Jr., and Otto Tso.