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A new retail space might draw Downtown Las Vegas together, developers say

Developers think The Promenade at the Juhl, a downtown retail space that opened in November, might be the missing piece of the downtown retail puzzle.

“We wanted to create this contiguous retail experience from the Arts District through the core district, which is what we’re in, up to Fremont and up to Fremont East (Entertainment District),” said Uri Vaknin, a partner at KRE Capital, the company that purchased Juhl in 2013 in partnership with Dune Real Estate Partners and Northcap.

“The office core” is a local real estate term referring to the area between Fremont Street and the Arts District, which includes government offices, lawyers’ offices, bail-bonds companies, wedding chapels and high-rise condominiums. Vaknin said The Promenade at the Juhl and other soon-to-open amenities, such as the Eclipse Theaters, 814 S 3rd St., might be what it takes to draw downtown together.

Juhl was built as a condominium community and opened in 2008. The builders lost Juhl during the recession and it went to the bank, which was itself taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. When Vaknin’s group bought the building, many of the condos were occupied as apartments and the retail space was vacant. The partnership owns three similar properties that it has returned from apartments to condominiums.

“Our goal has been to strategically and thoughtfully bring Juhl back on the market as condominiums,” Vaknin said. “What we really wanted to do was to curate the retail. We want to make sure that the retail offerings were an amenity to the building, but would also complement the offerings in the neighborhood and fill in what was needed.”

The retail spaces have been filling in over past year or so, and it was only once the majority of the space was filled that the partnership rebranded it as The Promenade at the Juhl. Jerome Harry, co-owner of Classic Jewel, a vintage Vegas-themed cocktail lounge in the building, has lived in the building since it opened.

“We knew we wanted to open a lounge downtown; we just didn’t know when,” Harry said.

Classic Jewel opened just over a year ago and is expanding into the vacant unit next door. While there are many bars and cocktail lounges downtown, Harry said his place tends to be a little less raucous and rowdy.

“What they’re offering is a more sophisticated environment,” Vaknin said.

One of the most recent additions is Greens & Proteins, a family-friendly cafe featuring healthy comfort foods, vegan, raw and vegetarian options, and a smoothie and fresh juice bar. Vaknin vetted the restaurant carefully, visiting all four of the local chain’s other locations and trying much of the menu. Judging by the crowd that has found the restaurant, it was a wise choice.

“We’re overwhelmed,” said Greg Jarmolowich, one of Greens & Proteins’ managing partners. “We’re super-pleased with the sales and the customer and community response. We’re only looking forward to an even brighter future.”

The restaurants got their start six years ago. The original business plan led to the first location being built near Las Vegas Athletic Clubs. They serve healthy food and have options suited to various diets, including low-calorie/high-protein and vegan.

“We wanted to make a healthy restaurant for everyone,” Jarmolowich said. “We appeal to many different diets and different fitness goals, and even if you don’t have any particular fitness goal, you can still enjoy a great meal.”

The Promenade at the Juhl also has Le Pho, a recently opened Vietnamese restaurant created by the owners of Le Thai, 523 Fremont St.; the Audio Video Boutique design studio; JAECI, an artistic jewelry store; Galerie Miscre8, an urban gallery and supply store owned by street artist Tanya Michelle; and an artist-in-residence program that currently features Justin Favela. Plans include the addition of Get A Haircut, a men’s barber shop, and The Corner Market, a convenience store.

Visit juhllv.com or call 702-754-6300.

To reach East Valley View reporter F. Andrew Taylor email ataylor@viewnews.com or call 702-380-4532.

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