Downtown Las Vegas Businesses Starting to Thrive - 8 News NOW

Downtown Las Vegas Businesses Starting to Thrive

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LAS VEGAS -- In recent years, some downtown businesses had a history of risk. Crime rates were high and customers were worried about parking their cars to shop or eat, but things seem to have turned around and now some businesses are taking advantage of the cheap commercial real estate.

The owners at Globe Salon bought their property years ago for a bargain and now, it's very valuable. It's been a long road since 1999 when it was unthinkable to have a business in the downtown area. James Reza went to great lengths to make his customers feel comfortable.

"We used to have clients go, 'Is it safe to park there?' So we started posting things on our Twitter and Facebook showing our expensive cars parked out in front of the salon so they wouldn't feel afraid," Reza said.

He says downtown real estate has long been undervalued and there are bargains for businesses willing to take the chance.

"It's probably the most under appreciated in that regard. You have a really great market but priced lower than it probably should be at this point," he said.

The recent move in of Zappos has changed many perceptions. Downtown streets are now full of young workers in their 20s and 30s who both work and live in the downtown area. Nearly 300 homes have been purchased in the past few years and condos are filling up in the Ogden and Soho Lofts.

No business has noticed the difference more than new downtown branch of Rachel's Kitchen, just blocks from Zappos.

"We've felt it. Morning to night. We've had a much bigger breakfast crowd which has been wonderful and we've started to have a dinner crowd which is really fantastic," said Brianna Hayes, Rachel's Kitchen manager.

She says they knew it could take time to see profits soar and now, they're reaping the benefits.

"It was definitely an investment. We knew it was going to pay off because of the growth that is happening down here and over the next few years," Hayes said.

As more people continue to arrive to the area, businesses like Rachel's Kitchen hope to keep growing. There's still some challenges with having a business in this area and parking is still a concern, but representatives with the Downtown Project say at least one new parking lot is going up within the next few months.

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