Downtown Las Vegas

What's in a name?

As Shakespeare once asked, what's in a name?  Quite a bit when there's potentially billions of dollars at stake. Name recognition is a very powerful force in marketing. Fortunes have been made and lost because of it. That's why there has been quite a stir about a new proposed project to replace the new Frontier that was demolished earlier this month.

What is all the fuss about? The New York-based Elad Group, owner of the land that was just cleared of the Frontier has planned to replace the casino with a Las Vegas version of the world famous New York Plaza, named (wait for it) the Plaza. Sounds good right?  Well, not to the current owners of the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas.

This past August, the owners of the historic downtown property, Tamares Las Vegas Properties sued the Elad Group to prohibit them from using the Plaza name on the Las Vegas strip property. The case eventually wound up in Federal court. After reviewing the case, the federal judged kicked it back to Clark County.

With the potential revenue involved, I doubt Elad is giving up the fight so quickly. It looks like this will be a long drawn out battle, but at least for the downtown Plaza's owners, they get to fight in their own backyard. Who knows, it may even be resolved by 2012 when the new resort is supposed to be completed.

In other news, there was a new addition to the Las Vegas strip, Planet Hollywood had there grand opening Wednesday. The property was built on the old Alladin site. At one time, the property was adverting high rise condos, but there isn't anything on their site about it. There may have been a change in plans, all things considered.

Related:

Historic Frontier soon to be dust

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run

Next week Saturday, December 1st, is the Great Las Vegas Santa Run to benefit Opportunity Village in downtown Las Vegas. The Santa Run is a 5k run and there is also a Kris Kringle Jingle (one mile walk). The registration fees before the event are $45 for participants age 13 and over and $25 for kids 12 and under. You may also register onsite on the day of the run for $75.

The goal is to break the world record for the largest Santa gathering while raising much needed funds for Opportunity Village. All participants will receive a 5 piece Santa suit to wear and keep after the event, plus a goodie bag valued at $100. There will be great prizes, live entertainment and displays for all ages.

The day begins at 8 am with a welcome from Mayer Oscar Goodman. Check-in, live entertainment and vendor displays are at the Neonopolis. The walk and the race start at 10 am on Las Vegas Boulevard. There is discounted parking ($5) available at the Fremont Street Experience Parking Garage if you show your Great Santa Run bib. So join honorary team Captains Siegfried & Roy and help raise money for a great charity. Register online at Opportunity Village.

Union Park accepted for LEED pilot program

The 61 acre master plan in downtown Las Vegas has received another major shot in the arm. The 6 billion dollar commercial project has been accepted into the U. Green Building's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) pilot program (the only one in Nevada). The program uses a system blending urbanism, green building design and smart growth. The site is located adjacent to the Union Park rail yards, just east of the I15 freeway.

Union Park at a glance

The project is scheduled to be complete in 2018 and will house the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the World Jewelry Center (possible site of a FTZ) and the Charlie Palmer Hotel a 400-room boutique hotel and condominium tower. There will also be a medical office and hotel campus adjacent to the Brain Institute.

Completed projects in the area include the Las Vegas Outlet mall and the soon to be completed World Market. At its completion, the Union Park development could be the biggest green project in Nevada.

The impact the project will have on the property values for the surrounding Las Vegas real estate should be very positive, especially for the residential properties like Newport Lofts, Soho, Streamline Tower and Verge. The thousands of jobs the project will create should also help increase the demand for close, quality housing.

Related:

Why going Green makes Dollars and Sense

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