You Can't Build a City Like a Startup: What the Downtown Project Missed

At the CityLab summit in LA yesterday—right about the time that Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project was supposedly laying off a third of its staff—I was having a conversation with a young, excitable urbanist who was heading to Vegas to see the Zappos CEO's $350 million instant neighborhood in the city's revitalized downtown… »10/01/14 5:45pm10/01/14 5:45pm


Build For Locals and Tourists Will Come: Vegas's Plan for Its Downtown

Between the Downtown Project's area and the Arts District is the new Las Vegas City Hall, a gleaming mirage of a building surrounded by a forest of photovoltaics. This is where the city leadership moved after it leased its old City Hall to Tony Hsieh's company Zappos—a move that you can't help but imbue with some… »1/13/14 11:30am1/13/14 11:30am

How the Downtown Project Is Solving Vegas's Urban Problems In-House

When I meet Josh Westerhold at the offices of Project 100, the Las Vegas urban mobility startup that's funded by the Downtown Project, we decide it would probably make sense to head out into downtown Vegas to tour their project area in person. From the other room, his co-worker has an even better idea: "Take the… »1/09/14 3:40pm1/09/14 3:40pm

A Walking Tour with VegasTechFund of the Downtown Vegas Startup Scene

If you've been to downtown Las Vegas in the last few years, you've likely been to Fremont Street, specifically the caged section near several historic casinos that hosts a nightly laser light show. But, thanks to the Downtown Project, the neighborhood is now home to a large and diverse concentration of startups, each… »1/07/14 8:28pm1/07/14 8:28pm

The Future of Downtown Vegas Is Somewhere in Tony Hsieh's Apartment

I am standing in Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh's apartment in downtown Las Vegas. He's not here. A housekeeper is here. And a dozen strangers are here, taking a tour of the Downtown Project, Hsieh's urban renaissance initiative. A "tour" which, for the most part, takes place right here, in Tony Hsieh's apartment. »1/07/14 12:40pm1/07/14 12:40pm

Exploring the Other Tech Story in Vegas: The Downtown Project

On the way in from the airport, my driver didn't want to drop me at the downtown Las Vegas address that I had provided him. "Oh man, I dunno," he said. "It might not be very… nice." When I explained I was there to cover the revitalization of Las Vegas's urban core he looked at me skeptically in the rearview mirror.… »1/06/14 5:20pm1/06/14 5:20pm