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Once the site of a devastating tragedy, downtown building ready for a new chapter

Updated December 19, 2022 - 9:54 am

Rebuilt and boasting a menu of tech features, the former Alpine Motel Apartments complex is ready for a new chapter.

DLUX Lofts, as it’s now called, features new utilities, new windows, a new roof, new flooring, and a new sprinkler system throughout the property, including in the hallways and each apartment, asset manager Robin Willett told the Review-Journal.

When it’s done, the overhaul will have cost up to $3 million.

Willett said it’s “100 percent safe” to live there, and he hopes to get the certificate of occupancy in the next few months for the three-story, 42-unit building that had a deadly fire three years ago.

“It was a full redevelopment of the original structure,” said Willett, senior vice president of multifamily investments with Las Vegas real estate firm Northcap.

The remodeled apartments boast stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, built-in bluetooth speakers and high-speed WiFi, DLUX’s website indicates.

Units measure 300 to 400 square feet and are expected to rent for somewhere in the $1,150 to $1,350 per-month range, said Willett, who noted the price includes all utilities.

The exterior of the building, on Ninth Street between Ogden and Stewart avenues, also features gambling-themed murals, including dice and casino chips.

“We’re really tailoring this to the Millennial generation,” Willett said.

Troubled past

The redevelopment marks a new chapter for a building that was once the site of a devastating tragedy.

Six people died, 13 were injured and dozens lost their home and belongings after a fire broke out in the Alpine complex, in the early hours of Dec. 21, 2019.

Related: Lawsuit over Alpine Motel fire could soon be resolved, lawyer says

Tenants jumped from second- and third-story windows to escape, and some Las Vegas police officers scaled the side of the building to help people get out, the Review-Journal reported.

One of those injured was a pregnant woman, who fell two stories as she escaped through the window of her apartment and broke her back.

The Alpine fire was the deadliest residential blaze in city history and led to felony charges against the building’s former landlord and property manager.

At the time of the fire, the building had a history of failed fire inspections and had gone more than two years without a fire inspection, a Review-Journal investigation found. Multiple residents told the newspaper there was no sprinkler system in the 1970s-era complex.

In the fire’s aftermath, investigators cited more than 40 fire code violations, including a sealed rear exit and a faulty fire alarm system.

People also broke into the shuttered building, which was found to have asbestos. At one point, SWAT officers in protective hazard gear were sent to the complex, the Review-Journal reported.

New beginning

In August 2021, a group of investors including Henderson’s John Burnette of DLUX Investments and Canada’s Ambleside Properties teamed up to acquire the complex for $1.9 million, property records show.

By then, work crews had already gutted the building down to the studs and removed all fire damage and asbestos, Willett said.

According to Willett, the fire did not compromise the building’s structure, as there was “very little damage” to any of the wood framing.

City of Las Vegas building and safety personnel have visited the site for 65 scheduled inspections since March, and fire inspectors have been there for six scheduled inspections, city spokesman Jace Radke told the Review-Journal on Wednesday.

Code enforcement has also kept a case open to regularly monitor the property, but there have not been any violations over the last year, Radke said.

He noted the new owners have installed fire sprinkler systems and fire alarms, replaced windows, and made other changes.

The building also features some tech gadgets.

Willett said the complex boasts a video-intercom access system at the front door that will link to tenants’ smartphones, as well as fingerprint- and bluetooth-enabled door locks for each apartment.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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