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jazzman

The reinventing of Downtown Las Vegas

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Downtown Vegas (yes, there really is a downtown Vegas) is reinventing itself. By 2010 it may be one of the best urban environments in the country.

There are currently nine mid and high rise condo and loft developments under construction in the downtown area and a dozen more on the books. These are in and around a newly created district called the 'arts district' connecting to downtowns south side, where old dilapidated buildings are being converted into galleries and eateries. Many of the lofts are of a live/work design to draw artists to the area.

The 61 acre Union Park development, which will connect to downtowns west edge will give downtown Vegas a real skyline and will include:

$200 million performing arts center,

New city hall,

Academic medical campus,

Alzheimer's research center designed by Frank Gehry,

City Park-3,000 high-rise residential units

1.5 million square feet of office and retail space.

$420 million, 40,000-seat stadium with a mostly glass exterior and retractable-roof.

Directly west of Union park is the World Furniture Market, a new 57-acre, 8-million-square-foot industry showroom and market facility at the gateway to downtown. Eleven of the 25 top U.S. furniture manufacturers have already signed up for space in the facility, including Ashley Furniture and Lane, says Berger, who notes that when completed, this will be the largest industry showroom and market facility in the nation. The first building is almost complete and will open on July 25th.

Three more blocks of Freemont St. have been included in the 'entertainment district, which will bring restaurants and clubs to that area.

The Monorail will eventually meander through these areas and connect with the Strips monorail system. 'Speed bus' lanes are under consideration as well as a light rail system.

The area of Las Vegas Bl. which connects the Strip with downtown is undergoing beautification and restoration. The first ten blocks (from the Stratosphere northward) will be a pedestrian district with many restaurants, coffee houses and clubs among the high-rise condos planned for that area.

All in all Vegas will finally be a real city.

edit: Sorry, no advertising of other commercial sites without prior permission from UrbanPlanet staff.

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Nice website jazzman, I especially like "the map" I'm headin out to Vegas next winter for the first time, what should I expect by then? Is there anything currently under construction that will be completed?

Good to see Vegas will finally be a "real" city. I'd be cool if it became a model for sunbelt cities to infill themselves and create more sustainable urban environments.

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Vegas has the luxury of unprecedented growth and logarithmically increasing property values that allow for this sort of development. Ft Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are similar in some ways with the latter really building a de novo downtown. It's amazing how a few Vegas developers have the opportunity right now to completely shape how Vegas will be seen for 50 years, they can literally sculpt it.

I like these plans by the way, very nice.

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It seems most of these projects are having a hard time getting off the ground. The market has turned a little sour here and the high prices have had a negative effect overall. I don't think it bothers most of the high-end condo buyers as much but building material and labor cost are driving up the cost of these projects. I can count about 3 that are currently under constuction. As for the new urbanist thing it is mainly for the haves and not the have nots. The overall picture here in Vegas is sprawl. No way around it.

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Talking about the general growth of Las Vegas I am starting to see commercial for "SKY" the super skyscraper condo that is leasing spaces from 750-3 million if I had that right. "Right on the strip" they say. Vegas might indeed have a difference between rich and poor but that it becoming more like the Upper East side if you ask me.

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