Changes coming to Historic Commercial Center to help bars, restaurants move in
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Businesses are pushing for changes at the Historic Commercial Center to allow more bars and restaurants to move in, and Clark County officials are working to make zoning changes happen to help revive the aging shopping area.
According to Commissioner Tick Segerblom, business owners from Downtown and the Arts District are eyeing the vast stretch of strip malls to build new bars and restaurants; zoning restrictions prevent businesses selling alcohol from moving next door to one another. Segerblom and the County Commission are looking to grant exemptions through a special zoning designation, similar to what’s given to Town Square off South Las Vegas Boulevard.
“The truth is, you can’t have more than one or two in that whole shopping center. Bars from other areas want to come and set up shop-- but also have a place where we can walk around,” Segerblom said.
“There are people Downtown and the Arts District that had been there a long time, and came there when it was first forming. It was relatively inexpensive. Now it’s become so popular that the rents are going up, and they’re looking to move out. They saw Commercial Center as a place to revitalize and make it like the original Arts District. There is a history there,” Segerblom said.
The Commercial Center was built in the 1960s and maintains the same layout and architecture from decades past. Various buildings have sporadic vacancies and various states of renovation.
The property has already started to see a wave of artists and businesses moving in, seeking cheaper rent.
“You’re really start to see an uptick-- especially a draw from the Arts District,” You can’t find this parking in this part of town anywhere,” said broker Chris Mazzone, who has helped businesses and tenants look at spots to move in. Owners of various buildings have started to invest in renovations to spur more move-ins, he said.
Galleries have already set up shop, hoping to make the area a creative hub.
“I am a full time working artist as well as a gallerist. I worked with a few other individuals to start transforming this place into a creative arts center,” said artist Nancy Good.
Segerblom promises the area will maintain its historic legacy: Karen Avenue will soon become Liberace Way, as an homage to the area’s history as a gay district for the Las Vegas Valley. A Liberace Museum is planned within Commercial Center, as well as neon signs to add ambiance and historical references, he said.
Zoning officials are looking to draft changes to county code, and changes could take effect as early as February, Segerblom said.
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