September 11, 2012

This week, we share the second part of our tour of downtown Las Vegas with Kim Schaefer of the Downtown Project, learning about the origins of the project. Kim details how “Triumph of the City”, a book by Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, has inspired the movement. Glaeser describes cities as making people healthier, smarter, happier, and more productive, thanks to living in close proximity with others and developing a sense of community; this is seen in practice in the reinvigorated, growing city, where cafes and shops line the streets, creating a pedestrian-friendly environment that encourages neighbors to get outside and interact. We then head inside to see The Ogden, the bankrupt condominium reimagined as a residential rental property, taking a walk through Tony Hsieh’s custom combined unit. As we conclude our tour, Kim details the needs of a growing community and how the money behind the project is being invested into developing the area. She shares the criteria, process, and incentives of opening small businesses and touches on the Vegas Tech Fund, a subdivision focused on bringing tech startups to the downtown area, along with their rapid growth potential and revenue turnaround. This exciting process of breathing new life into the city is truly just in its beginnings; we wish the Downtown Project the best, and look forward to watching their community thrive.

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