Downtown Project reverses course, will now work with evicted tenant

It looks like Downtown Project, Tony Hsieh’s downtown redevelopment initiative, has a heart after all.

After Downtown Project’s Container Park gave an eviction notice to an eyeglass business owner on Wednesday, a top Downtown Project official said Friday the tenant has four weeks to work with a marketing consultant at no cost to see if he could salvage his business.

“We need to be more humane,” said Mark Rowland, CEO of DTP Ventures, which oversees Downtown Container Park and Downtown Project’s other businesses such as The Market and Gold Spike.

“He’s not there all by himself,” Rowland said in a phone interview with the Review-Journal Friday. “There’s a team of people to brainstorm ideas with him.”

Rowland said he has offered Eric Healey, owner of Monocle Optical, a four-week extension to work with marketing consultant ROCeteer and see whether his eyeglass business is viable.

Healey said he will take Rowland up on his offer.

“It gives me a breath of life,” said Healey, 32 of, Las Vegas, who started his eyeglass business on the third level of Container Park earlier this year with $200,000. The business name, Monocle Optical, is based on Healey having only one eye after he lost an eye from a BB gun injury at age 8.

On Wednesday night, Doug McPhail, Downtown Project director of retail operations, and Caroline Moriarty, a Container Park management staffer, gave a notice to Healey to either pay $8,860 in back rent or vacate by next week. Healey said there is so little foot traffic on the third (top) level of Container Park that he doesn’t even generate half of his monthly expenses of $5,600, including $2,400 in rent.

“One of the most common conversations I’ve had with people is that most people say they love Container Park,” Healey said. “Then I tell people I work at Container Park and they ask, ‘Where is your office?’ I tell them it’s on the third floor and they look at me, tilt their head and ask, “There’s a third floor?’ “

Rowland read a Review-Journal story Friday regarding complaints by Container Park tenants, including Healey, who voiced concerns that they are being hit with $75 fines for not being in their stores at all hours and that Container Park does not adequately drive customers to the third level of the commercial center built with more than 40 repurposed shipping containers.

Rowland said a shopping center cannot survive with tenants not paying rents, but he said he wants Downtown Project tenants to work with the marketing consultant for free to brainstorm ideas to make their businesses financially sustainable.

Before Healey received his reprieve from Rowland Friday, he launched a GoFundMe account at to raise the $8,860 for the past rent. As of 5:45 p.m. Friday, four people had donated $150.

Rowland said that during this four-week extension, it’s up to Healey to work with the marketing consultant to determine at the end of the four weeks a reasonable amount of money to pay in back rent based on the business’ viability.

While Rowland reached out to Healey in an effort to see whether his Container Park can be saved, there still are the concerns of third-level tenants in the commercial center who argue that there is not enough customers and foot traffic on the top level to make their businesses profitable.

Several third-level and former tenants said the elevator that serves the top level also breaks down when it rains, inhibiting people from reaching their businesses.

After finding out about the faulty elevator from the Review-Journal, the state Department of Business and Industry dispatched an inspector to Container Park at 707 Fremont St. on Friday to check out the elevator and its maintenance history.

By coincidence, Container Park management also held a tenants meetings Friday morning to discuss issues, and there was tension in the air when talk surfaced about Friday’s Review-Journal story.

Healey said Downtown Project has to work on getting people to visit not only the ground level businesses but the top level ones too.

Contact reporter Alan Snel at Find him on Twitter: @BicycleManSnel

Holiday Parade Lights Up Downtown Summerlin
Holiday parade lights up Downtown Summerlin every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 22.
Nevada's solar industry on the rebound
In 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted in favor of a new tariff structure that reduced net energy metering buyback rates and increased fix fees for residential solar customers.
Apartment complexes selling fast in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ apartment vacancy rate is among the smallest in the country, and rents are climbing faster than the national average. (LVRJ)
Aristocrat Opens $45M Campus In Summerlin
Aristocrat Technologies Chairman Ian Blackburne discusses the company's growth. (LVRJ)
Sunrise Hospital celebrates 60 years
Sunrise Hospital opened its doors to patients on Dec. 15, 1958. Employees of more than 35 years celebrated at a luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Jessie Bekker/ Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Maya Cinemas to open soon in North Las Vegas
Moctesuma Esparza, CEO of Maya Cinemas, talks about the newest location in North Las Vegas, set to open Jan. 10. The aim of the theatre chain is to serve latino-centric, underserved communities.
Holiday shopping and returns make this the busiest time of year for UPS
The UPS Las Vegas South facility is the company's busiest pre-load operation in the country, and it's even busier this time of year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Miltary auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Humvees, ammo cans, construction equipment, field gear and more is on the auction block Friday and Saturday at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. About 10,000 items in all are for sale in what GovPlanet bills as the largest auction of its kind.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
Black Friday - 12:30am - Best Buy Arroyo Crossing
Sam's Town Holiday Lighting Ceremony
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Mystic Falls Park opened with its annual tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd. The attraction features a Winter Wonderland theme and holiday-inspired laser light show, available daily Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What Is A Smart City?
George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, Panasonic’s smart-city arm, explains. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Walmart uses virtual reality to train employees
Walmart Academy Facilitator demonstrates the VR training program being used by Walmart stores across the country.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like