Planning Commission recommends apartment rentals at Gold Spike

A former downtown hotel-casino could become apartments for employees at the new headquarters for online retailer Zappos.

On Tuesday the Las Vegas planning commission voted 6-0 in favor of two special-use permits to convert hotel rooms in the Gold Spike into residential units.

Under the proposal by the Downtown Project, an urban redevelopment effort funded largely by the personal wealth of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, workers could live in the former hotel-casino, which is less than a block from Zappos’ new headquarters in the former City Hall building at Stewart Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.

The Downtown Project also won approval from the commission for a proposed private pedestrian plaza on Gold Spike property.

“It is going to allow us to have monthly rentals which is something the downtown community is in need of,” Downtown Project attorney Todd Kessler said. “This hotel will offer an opportunity for some folks to live more inexpensively in downtown.”

The pedestrian plaza would allow the owners to hold more events at the site without running afoul of city codes, Kessler said.

For example, city codes restrict where food trucks can park on public property but the special-use permit would allow for more trucks to gather on the private property during events, Kessler said.

“It kind of gives you an ability to have a few more,” he said.

The Downtown Project bought the Gold Spike in April from Siegel Group. Before the sale, the property was a longtime hangout for people seeking a cheap place for food, booze and gambling. Although the Siegel Group spent millions renovating the property in recent years, there was little change in the makeup of the clientele or pricing.

The Downtown Project, which is seeking to create a hipper, urban vibe in the area, removed gambling and converted the casino area into a lounge-style area with music and wireless Internet access suitable for co-working or socializing.

“It has been a total revamp that has occurred at the Gold Spike,” Kessler said.

The Downtown Project kept the bar and ground floor cafe and appears to have plans for more changes, but a third special-use permit request to expand the bar service was delayed.

The two permit applications approved Tuesday are scheduled to go to the City Council on Nov. 20.

Contact Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com and follow @BenSpillman702 on Twitter.

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