As It Happens

Gotta name 'em all: Streets in this Las Vegas suburb are named after beloved Pokemon

Naming new streets can be hard. That's why when it came to naming the roads in a new Henderson, Nev., housing development, Andrea Miller turned to a beloved video game series.

Would you live on the corner of Jigglypuff Place and Charizard Lane?

Two street signs are posted above a stop sign. The top sign reads Jigglypuff Place. Below it is a sign that reads Charizard Lane.
Jigglypuff Place and Charizard Lane, streets in Henderson, Nev., are part of a housing development by Harmony Homes. A handful of streets in the neighbourhood outside of Las Vegas are named after Pokemon characters, including these two. (Submitted by Andrea Miller)

Naming new streets can be hard.

They need to be easy to pronounce, inoffensive and — perhaps most importantly — novel.

"They can't sound similar to another street name or they cannot already be used," said Andrea Miller, construction administration manager for Harmony Homes in Nevada. 

That's why when it came to naming the roads in a new Henderson, Nev., housing development, she turned to a beloved video game series.

"I would go home from work and kind of bounce names off of my kids, and they would come up with silly street names and then we would have to push those ones aside," Miller told As It Happens guest host Helen Mann.

"So my oldest was like, 'What about Pokemon?'"

Now, in the Las Vegas suburb, a brand-new townhouse on Jigglypuff Place or just off Snorlax Lane can be yours.

Pikachu off the table

Choosing street names can be a long process. Dozens of options will be submitted by developers to city officials, but only a few are approved.

When Harmony Homes started construction on the development, the mobile game Pokemon Go was popular with her sons, 11 and 14.

The trio sat down to name a few of the most popular Pokemon — originally known in Japanese as "Pocket Monsters" — in the game. But there was one Miller didn't use, as she felt it was a bit too obvious.

"I didn't want to use Pikachu because I didn't want it to really stand out that the community was named after Pokemon," she told As It Happens.

A balloon of Pikachu and Eevee riding in a Pokeball sleigh floats in the air, held to the ground by ropes.
A balloon of Pikachu and Eevee, two characters from the Pokemon series, float at the 2021 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images)

In addition to Jigglypuff and Snorlax, residents and visitors to the area can find streets named after the lizard-like Charmander and Charizard, and turtle monster Squirtle. 

It's not the first time Miller suggested unconventional names based on a popular series. Another development in North Las Vegas has streets named after the TV program Paw Patrol, including Rubble Avenue, also inspired by her children.

"The kids that lived in the neighbourhood, they loved the street names," said Miller.

'It makes me giggle'

Miller believes that the street names will resonate not only with kids who come to live on the street, but first-time homebuyers who may have grown up with the game and series, which debuted in the late '90s. 

She hopes the company behind the franchise won't take issue with the street names. "I'm hoping that they find it as amazing as the town does," she said.

Two street signs reads Watford Place and Squirtle Lane.
Squirtle Lane is a street at the Serenity Place housing development in Henderson, Nev. (Submitted by Andrea Miller)

CBC Radio reached out to The Pokemon Company for comment, but didn't hear back before publication.

After all, she says that living at a unique address like Squirtle Lane will bring a smile to homeowners' faces.

"Every time I hear 'Jigglypuff,' it makes me giggle a little bit," she said.

"So I was hoping that it would do the same for my buyers."

Interview produced by Sheena Goodyear