The Downtown Project’s quest to revitalize downtown Las Vegas has always been hampered by a lack of available housing.
Fremont9, a five-story mid-rise that offers 232 residential units and 15,000 square feet of retail space in downtown’s East Village District, could help change that. Amid construction and preparations for this weekend’s Life is Beautiful festival, a group of developers on Tuesday morning cut the ribbon on a new luxury apartment tower.
Rent at Fremont9 ranges from $845 per month for a 395-square-foot studio to $3,961 per month for a 1,330-square-foot three-bedroom apartment. Parking is extra, but residents who fully embrace the Fremont9 ethos won’t be driving that much anyway.
If it seems unusual to have a music festival going up across the street from a housing complex, that’s a feature not a bug of Fremont9. Every resident receives a free pass to the festival. Located at 901 Fremont Street, on the corner of Fremont Street and 9th Street, Fremont9 is built for residents who want to be surrounded by hip downtown bars and restaurants.
“I love it here,” said resident Barbara Campanili, who moved into a one-bedroom unit overlooking Atomic Liquors earlier this month. “It’s like hotel living.”
Fremont9 came about as a partnership between the Downtown Project, which owned the land, and real estate investors the Wolff Co., which took the lead on bringing the project to fruition. Construction costs were $43 million to $44 million, said Nate Carlson of the Wolff Co.
Fremont9 should help increase the population of downtown residents, at least for those on the upper end of the economic spectrum. With a motto of “work hard, play harder,” Fremont9 is the embodiment of the Downtown Project’s “Three Cs: collisions, co-learning, and connectedness.”
The roughly 15,000 square feet of retail space is ready and waiting to host those three Cs. On the day of ribbon cutting, expansive floor-to-ceiling windows on the ground floor revealed empty space inside, pure possibility.
“The space can be devised to accommodate different tenants. Currently, it is open so that they do not limit the tenants they can work with,” says Fremont9 spokesperson Megan Fazio, who notes that leasing is still in the early stages because the opening is so recent.
A grocery store would be an ideal tenant. Within walking distance, the Market on 611 Fremont Street has downsized its grocery options to make room for Bronze Cafe. The Family Food Mart on 1102 Fremont Street is also within walking distance, but it is no luxury bodega.
Meanwhile, established local retailers are thrilled about the planned influx of well-heeled residents. Cathy Brooks of Hydrant Club, a dog daycare on 109 N. 9th Street, says she has been eagerly awaiting Fremont9's opening since the groundbreaking. The property allows dogs under a certain weight.
One type of retail that won’t be found at Fremont9 is Airbnb. Just like subleasing, it’s forbidden by property management. This is in contrast with nearby condo tower The Ogden (150 N. Las Vegas Blvd.), which because it is owner-occupied has a variety of units available on Airbnb.
In line with the national trend of builders focusing on the high-end market, which includes the recently opened Lotus LV in Chinatown, Fremont9 offers a host of enviable amenities. There are stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops and built-in blackout shades to match the oversized windows. In addition to a pool and yoga room, the fitness room features a wooden floor reclaimed from a high school gym. Hand-painted murals add an artsy allure to common areas. The Wolff Co.’s Nate Carlson says that the edgy vibe was carefully curated to foster a sense of creativity that aligns with downtown.
Additional amenities include common rooms with a video wall, a music wall, billiards and a TopBrewer brand app-powered espresso machine. There’s an “entertainment kitchen” and “community dining space.” Interior courtyards have bocce ball, ping pong and barbecue grills. Bicycle storage and 24/7 on-demand parcel lockers complete the urban lifestyle.
The Price of Urban Living
So much luxury does not come cheap, and the central downtown location comes at an extra price. Luxury apartments elsewhere in the valley are significantly less expensive. A 1,440-sqare-foot unit at Elysian at The District rents for $2,522 per month, which is nearly $1,500 less than a comparable unit at Fremont9. Apartments at The Well in Henderson’s Union Village, which are also owned by The Wolff Group, range from $1,051 for 465 square feet to $1,977 for 1,201 square feet.
Urban living giveth and taketh away. The advantage of living downtown comes in the form of walkability. The disadvantage of high-density living is the loss of free parking. A parking space at Fremont9 will set residents back another $100-$250 per month, depending on whether they choose a garage or carport. Residents who prefer a more budget option are encouraged to rent a space from the nearby municipal “Llama Lot.” Or they can always try their luck finding a free space on the street.
Potential residents have not been deterred. Carlson says that in 30 days of being open, the property has become about 37 to 38 percent occupied.
Downtown Project executive vice president of operations Michael Downs is most proud of the location of Fremont9 and how the property is helping transform the area. In addition to new construction, Downs says that the Downtown Project is working to capitalize on demand for housing by renovating properties they already own.
About a block away from Fremont9 is the 10-unit Nolana, which Downs said became 100 percent occupied within a month of going on the market. DTP is also working on renovations of Fergusons and the Downtowner, which will become mixed-use spaces. The newly renovated Cassia, an 18-unit apartment complex on 9th street and Bridger, will open next week.
All the growth of downtown hasn’t gone unnoticed. Downs says that within the past six months, interest from developers looking to partner with new property construction downtown has spiked. “The phone has been ringing off the hook.”