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New lease at 601 Fremont Street may be shot in arm for entertainment district

An old downtown building has a shot at a new life now that Las Vegas has inked a deal with a nightclub developer who wants to move into 601 Fremont St.

The city-owned building across the street from the El Cortez has long been vacant. On Wednesday, the City Council approved leasing it to Terry Caudill, owner of Binion’s and the Four Queens casinos, and Carlos and Ava Adley, owners of a club in the Hollywood Entertainment District in Southern California.

There will be a restaurant, a nightclub and retail space on the first floor, said Bill Arent, director of the city’s business development office. The other two floors will have retail and condominium space, said Carlos Adley, who is known professionally as Big Daddy Carlos.

A more detailed plan is due in 90 days.

The annual lease on the 48,700-square-foot building and adjoining parking lot is $233,000, although that will be abated for the first six years. After that, the rent increases 1 percent per year.

The deal should mean a $10 million private investment downtown, according to city documents, as well as the return of $9 million of property to the tax rolls.

It could also be a shot in the arm to Fremont East, an area downtown that boosters are trying to turn into a nightclub and entertainment district.

So far only four nightspots are open there, although a fifth, Azul Tequila, is under construction on Seventh Street near Ogden Avenue.

The building at 601 Fremont is more than 50 years old and has had several uses, which prompted a stroll down memory lane.

“I was fingerprinted there many times,” said Caudill. The building was once where people went to get fingerprinted for work cards.

It also had some police office space, and Councilman Stavros Anthony once occupied a cubicle there during his early days on the force. Las Vegas took over the property from Clark County in 2003.

Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese’s memory went back the furthest. He remembered when the building was a Sears department store.

“I used to buy my underwear there,” he said.

Contact reporter Alan Choate at achoate@reviewjournal.com or 702-229-6435.

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