I originally wrote this article about redevelopment in Las Vegas early in 2008. Basically, it uses the Monorail plan as a map for the city's redevelopment: present and future. Though the real estate market there has taken a beating since that time, much of it still applies. The drastic drop in prices really only makes Las Vegas Strip condos, and more importantly the ‘old' Las Vegas neighborhoods right next to the Strip an even better investment.
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Las Vegas Redevelopment Guide 101
Las Vegas is reinventing itself once again, this time as the ‘Metropolis of the Desert' and fastest growing city in the U.S.. While major corporations tap into global demand for Las Vegas real estate by recasting the Strip as a dazzling, high-density urban model for the future, everything to the north along Las Vegas Blvd. from the Stratosphere at Sahara Blvd. to the classic casinos Downtown has been zoned for redevelopment by officials who are eager to revitalize the city's traditional center.
A Major New City Plan is Underway on over 100 Acres of Undeveloped Land West of Downtown
Many people don't know it yet but new government buildings, a Performing Arts Center, and extensive office and retail properties totaling over $5 billion dollars are being built between the I-15 and the planned monorail extension to the casinos on Freemont St.. Another major development, the new World Market Center for furniture is also going up in stages on over 57 acres. These projects are the anchor of the city's redevelopment plans and a number of upscale condos will be going up in and around Downtown.
Condo Towers, A New ‘Art's District' & Classic Homes on Las Vegas Boulevard.
The rest of the city's plan follows the proposed monorail southwards through Las Vegas' traditional core, between the Boulevard and the railroad tracks (now I-15,) to the city limit at Sahara. Commercial, mixed-use projects & semi-reasonably priced condo towers with a lot of potential upside will completely remake this part of town and probably create Las Vegas' most interesing new neighborhood in the process.
The neighborhoods just east of Las Vegas Blvd here are largely protected from development by the High School Historic District (mixed use) & John S. Park Historic District (residential.) Hmmmmm. There are more classic homes from suburban three bedrooms to some fairly serious estates on the other side of the I-15 north of Sahara as well.
Rat Pack Era Casinos Demolished for First Wave of Condo Projects on the Original ‘Strip'
The first major wave of condos like the Turnberry Towers have already gone up on the sites of old casinos like the Landmark & El Rancho at the north end of Strip by Sahara. This is where the existing monorail actually starts. These condos aren't cheap, but there is a lot of competition and still more condos like Sky are going up around the Hilton and Wynn. The new Trump tower is also opening and the Stardust & Frontier have just been demolished to make room for more. No less than four more $5 billion dollar-plus projects have been approved for this area including Echelon Place & MGM's next 100 acre-plus City Center development at Sahara & Las Vegas Blvd.
Interstate 15 and the Future of the Las Vegas Strip
Except for the proposed spur to McCarran Airport, the rest of the monorail's planned route follows Interstate 15 to points south. For the last 10 years, major expansion of the ‘Strip' proper has stalled and development has consisted of tearing down what's left of the old boulevard to make room for the new boulevard. With new interest in premium condos like MGM's City Center adding to the demand for premium real estate, the ‘Strip' will have to grow, ultimately taking over the west side of Interstate 15 and probably giving a new meaning to the idea of the ‘Strip' in the process. High rise condo tower development along the I-15 and 95/515 freeway corridors should become a major part of the redevelopment equation for both the Strip and Downtown. New projects will also probably go up on mostly vacant land south of Mandalay Bay along Las Vegas Blvd. & Interstate 15, west of McCarran as the ‘Strip' heads south.
Ironically, the monorail itself will probably not be part of this future. The federal government has withdrawn funding for the downtown leg of the route and it's currently unlikely that it will ever be built. The casinos may still pick up the tab for the extension to McCarran Airport but the technology is essentially obsolete and doesn't adequately address the ‘Strip's' considerable people moving needs. That being said, the basic plan clearly shows which way the powers-that-be in Las Vegas expect the money to go regardless of how it gets there.
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Watch for more detailed, up-to-date posts about affordable condos on the Strip and these fabulous ‘old' Las Vegas neighborhoods. Though I'm a native of Los Angeles and live in Venice, I'm a Realtor in both California and Nevada and I actually own four of these homes next to the Strip myself. Please contact me anytime if you'd like more information about the great investment opportunities in Las Vegas.
AJonesREALTOR / Andy@JonesResortProperty.com
Visit http://www.jonesresortproperty.com for Listings & Information on Thousands of Properties in Southern California & Nevada including Las Vegas.