The Downtown Project is Transforming Las Vegas Real EstateLas Vegas began the way most towns in western states began, as a trading outpost. In the 1800s, a Mexican trading caravan started using the area as a stopping point on the Old Spanish Trail on their way to California . Natural springs in the area provided water for travelers along the train, and the outpost began to grow in popularity.
When gaming became legal again in 1931, the first casinos opened in downtown Las Vegas. Downtown’s Fremont Street became the first paved street in Las Vegas. The street was also home to the city’s first traffic light that same year.
Today’s downtown area has been the subject of an ongoing revitalization project. The Downtown Project is a combination of private investors and the city working together to create an environment that attracts both business and residential developments to the city center.
What You Need to Know About the Downtown ProjectTo date, the Downtown Project has given the once derelict scenery a rebirth of sorts. The private investors, namely Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, have worked hard to provide new commercial opportunities downtown, as well as start-up funding for numerous small business that operate close by.
Hsieh forked over a $350 million investment in the Downtown Project, a portion of the funds went towards the construction of Container Park on Fremont Street in downtown.
Container Park is a massive real estate undertaking, with seven restaurants and bars, host of free concerts, kids activities, three levels of shopping – created from repurposed shipping containers and locally manufactured Xtreme Cubes – for a seriously unique shopping experience.
Young residents of Las Vegas have been emphasized in the project specifications. The most notable is The Treehouse in Container Park. The Treehouse includes a 33-foot-tall slide, NEOS play system, oversized foam building blocks. It’s an interactive experience for visitors of all ages.
A live entertainment aspect of Container Park, in addition to music throughout the year, is The Pink Tutu Ballet . The Ballet is an NYC based, touring professional company that has set up shop at The Container Park. Visitors can watch performances, and the company also offers classes in yoga, Barre, Pilates, Reformer, Zumba and Ballroom dancing. Public transportation is available to Container Park.
Looking ForwardThe Downtown Project group created DTP Ventures to help keep the revitalization moving forward. Their goal is to make Downtown the most community-focused, large city in the world. Mark Roland is the new CEO of DTP Ventures, and he is enthusiastic about creating an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” downtown. Spurred on by Zappos founder and DTP supporter Tony Hsieh’s emphasis on creativity and innovation, Roland is placing a lot of emphasis on small businesses being a significant part of the new Downtown.
Affordable housing is in demand, but there are not a lot of options in downtown that fall in between luxury and disrepair. The city is developing a master plan for the housing issue. 45,807 people currently live in the downtown area, and most of those are under 50 years old. There are opportunities for housing additions in downtown. A city report showed that there are 250 acres of vacant land downtown, and 25 percent of downtown housing units are empty.
DTP is vying for residential developers to build four 250-unit affordable apartment complexes on land it owns in the downtown area.
A ripple-effect benefit of the Downtown Project is the attention older neighborhoods are getting. Biltmore Bungalows is a neighborhood that was one of the first residential developments in the downtown area. The 61 cottage-style homes went under construction in the 1940’s. The city is considering nominating Biltmore for the National Register of Historic Places as a way to preserve a part of Las Vegas history.
9th Bridge School , located on 9th Street, was a church at one time. The church building was completely renovated to become an incubator of childhood creativity and to learn through play. The teachers created a re-purpose room to foster creativity and sustainability all at the same time. The school is hoping to grow by one grade level each year until they reach 12th grade.
Does The Downtown Project Meet Your Real Estate Goals?To sum all of this information up, The Downtown Project means changing the face of real estate for the downtown area. Real estate needs range from affordable housing to leased commercial space, as well as reconfiguring existing structures on the surrounding streets. Funding for this revamping remains relatively steady, so watch for more news about real estate opportunities downtown.
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