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Las Vegas developer building more apartments downtown

Updated March 5, 2022 - 8:15 am

When Fremont9 was being built several years ago, real estate pros figured the downtown Las Vegas apartment complex could spark more development in the neighborhood.

A construction boom in the Fremont Street area never followed. Now a local developer has launched a new apartment project there after he built and leased one up in the city’s burgeoning Arts District.

Developer Sam Cherry has broken ground on a five-story, 84-unit rental complex at the southeast corner of Stewart Avenue and 11th Street. Work crews have graded the site and started installing utilities, Cherry said.

The roughly $20 million project is slated to open in January, he indicated.

Cherry, chief executive of Cherry Development, is scheduled to hold a project kickoff event Monday, when Mayor Carolyn Goodman will “commemorate” the venture by tossing one of her mayoral poker chips into the building’s concrete foundation, a news release said.

The project is Cherry’s second Share Downtown-branded rental complex and will feature ground-floor retail space, a common area kitchen, a gym, coworking space, a courtyard area and a viewing deck, he said.

The property is walking distance from popular Fremont Street spots such as food and retail destination Fergusons Downtown, a redeveloped former motel, and PublicUs, a restaurant and coffee bar. Its apartments will also be small — just 480 square feet each — and are slated to rent for $1,100 per month, Cherry said.

Coming out of the Great Recession, the Fremont Street area got a huge boost of commerce from Tony Hsieh. The late tech mogul moved online shoe seller Zappos from a Henderson office park to the former Las Vegas City Hall in 2013 and launched a $350 million side venture originally called Downtown Project to invest heavily in the area.

Hsieh bankrolled bars, restaurants and tech startups and became one of downtown’s biggest property owners through the venture, buying apartment complexes, office buildings and other sites.

He also launched some ground-up developments such as retail hub Downtown Container Park and, in partnership with Arizona developer The Wolff Co., the 232-unit Fremont9 complex. Fremont9 opened in 2018 and recently sold for $80 million.

Hsieh died at age 46 in November 2020 from injuries suffered in a Connecticut house fire and following a dark period of drug use and erratic behavior that his own family has described in court papers.

Cherry said the Fremont Street area doesn’t look different since Hsieh died, but he feels Hsieh’s absence.

“People miss Tony,” he said.

Meanwhile, not far away, Las Vegas’ Arts District has seen a surge of new businesses lately, including from Cherry, who built the four-story, 63-unit Share Downtown at the corner of Casino Center Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.

The units are also 480 square feet each, and its tenants include young professionals, people who work nearby or on the Strip, some artists, some teachers, and medical residents, Cherry said.

The property, he said, is fully leased and has a waiting list.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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