Awesome new lounge opening up downtown… it’s projects like this that reaffirm what I believe is happening downtown. The growth is organic and real… it’s “normal” people creating a culture as opposed to the manufactured and contrived projects of the past (Neonopolis and the Main Street Station). This lounge was done on a shoestring $350k budget- it has whimsy and character and I am confident it will be a success!

Read more from the Las Vegas Weekly article here.

For anyone that missed the article in the Las Vegas Sun yesterday:

Tony Hsieh’s Vision for Downtown Las Vegas

As mentioned in previous posts here and here, the Zappos deal is having an impact on the future of downtown Las Vegas. Having a visionary like Tony Hsieh playing part in actively recruiting tech businesses to downtown Las Vegas will not only play a part in aiding the redevelopment of the area, but will also help bring the much needed diversity that our Las Vegas economy needs.

I am incredibly excited to see these changes taking place. As I have said before, there are many people who have been involved in laying a foundation for the downtown area, but it hasn’t seem to hit a “critical mass.” I believe that the Zappos move is the tipping point to really begin moving things in the right direction.

In addition, with Carolyn Goodman showing a strong lead for Mayor, we should be able to count on the vision that Oscar laid out to be continued.

Here is a link to an article on Bigger Pockets about the changing attitudes to Las Vegas real estate.

Optimism is in the air, investors are looking at ground zero (Las Vegas in case you were guessing) for opportunities, and things are starting to happen.

As I mentioned in a previous article about the Zappos deal that is mirrored in the Bigger Pockets link above, the relocation of the Zappos headquarters to downtown Las Vegas has spurred bars and restaurants to begin moving in. I firmly believe there will be some great opportunities in the downtown area.

I hope Las Vegas will never return to the ridiculous boom days that we experienced… it isn’t healthy and it’s not sustainable. That being said, we will recover and there will be fortunes made through the recovery.

Good fortune has not been on the Lady Luck’s side.

Before shutting it’s doors for renovations in 2006, Lady Luck had become a dilapidated, remnant reminder of what used to be in downtown Las Vegas. Mayor Oscar Goodman was not as kind with his words describing it as a rotting corpse, a blight, a disaster, and a carcass. That was all supposed to change with the renovations that were planned… then the recession hit.

Finally though, luck appears to be swinging back to the Lady’s side with new plans for a massive renovation being put in place by Resort Gaming Group (the same ones who helped arrange Zappos moving into the old City Hall).

The new renovation has been modified from the original plan. A restaurant/bar and sportsbook will replace the Celebrity Theatre on the corner of 3rd and Ogden. Sidebar will be enlarged slightly and converted into a wine bar. Triple George is staying and will undergo only “minor modifications” (which is great to hear- I highly recommend the restaurant).

The remainder of the Lady Luck itself will see meeting space, a rooftop pool over the casino, spa, fitness room, and a complete renovation of the remaining rooms.

Opening is slated for 2012, which should coincide with the Zappos move and the opening of the Mob Museum.

Las Vegas has ranked 2nd to last in a national index compiled by Marcus & Millichap… see the article here.

The Marcus & Millichap report projects an increase of .5%… a small increase, but the first in over 3 years. Vacancy rates are expected to fall to 9.1%- a drop by 80 basis points.

As would be expected, the area around UNLV is projected to be the most highly sought due to the student population and the opening of The Cosmopolitan nearby.

I personally see a great opportunity with multi-family housing. The recession has tarnished many individuals personal credit and stricter lending practices will keep many people in the rental market. As the economy begins to recover, rental rates can be more easily adjusted in multi-family than commercial leases. As a result, multi-family will reflect increased values more quickly.

The UNLV area could yield some lucrative investments… the opportunity to pick up assets in a high demand area coupled with the remote possibility of the UNLV arena project could provide a positive cash flow investment in the present with the upside potential for redevelopment down the road.

I also believe the downtown Las Vegas area is poised for growth and opportunity. With the relocation of Zappos to the soon to be vacated city hall there will certainly be an increase in demand for housing. What is particularly exciting about the Zappos move is that the employee culture of Zappos lends itself to people that would like to be a part of the downtown culture- youthful, creative, artistic, and just a little bit weird.

Exciting news to see Zappos going downtown and taking over the old City Hall… I think this is the kick that was needed to really spur the redevelopment and excitement for our old downtown area. There has been a really great core group of people that have been incredibly committed to really changing the area, but it has never seemed able to hit that “critical mass” to really take off.

Zappos moving offices to old city hall in downtown Las Vegas