When The Ogden, 150 Las Vegas Blvd. North, was completed in early 2008, the housing market was dropping into a crisis, jobs were following, and starting a new business looked like a challenging venture at best.
Six years after it was completed, the high-rise luxury condominiums are at 100 percent occupancy, and all of the first-floor commercial spaces are open for business. On May 12, the last piece of the puzzle fell into place when The Window, a multipurpose space with an artist-in-residency program, opened.
David Gould, an Iowa-based educator, runs Downtown Project, 1800 Industrial Road. When Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh spoke at one of Gould’s classes in 2010, Gould was so struck by Hsieh that he followed his career, and last summer he came out to work with him, hoping to expand on how he conducts classes.
“I came here in August with the idea of trying to push what I was doing in the classroom into a city,” Gould said. “The overwhelming question for me was, ‘How does a city learn?’ ”
Downtown Project will be used for a variety of purposes, and promotion of the arts is set to be one focus. Initially, nonprofits will hold meetings there, and the many tables can be used for curated evening events.
Las Vegas artist Donovan Fitzgerald is working on an art installation at The Window, creating elegant chalk drawings on the tops of the room’s pillars. The classically trained and internationally known artist rarely shows his work in town, but several of his pieces are set to be on display at the The Window through July.
Two restaurants have been open at The Ogden for more than a year: Wild, which features fresh, locally sourced food with several gluten-free options, and Rachel’s Kitchen, part of a small, local chain of gourmet cafes.
The Ogden’s branch of Rachel’s Kitchen is owned and operated by Henderson resident Caran Richardson and Summerlin resident Kathy Wilson.
“We’re both longtime Las Vegas (valley) residents, and we were involved in the construction business,” Richardson said. “In 2008 and 2009, when construction took a hit, we started thinking about what kind of jobs we’d like to have. This place turned out to be just what we were looking for.”
Despite being half a block from Fremont Street, Richardson said most of her customers were locals, including several regulars who commute by elevator and are waiting for their coffee when the doors open at 7 a.m.
“We’re very much a part of the community here, and that’s the way we like it,” Richardson said.
In April, the Scullery opened at the northeast corner of the building. The high-end, well-lit bar includes quiet booths in the back and a small performance space. Only a few shows have taken place there, including a monthly artistic variety show, “Zoe’s Little Playthings” and “The Bucket Show,” a Wednesday night improv set.
“It’s a great space. It’s intimate and a little quirky,” said “The Bucket Show’s” Matt Donnelly. “When we found out it was available, we jumped on it. We only had four or five days to put it together and promote it, but it was a standing-room-only show.”
Contact East Valley View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4532.