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August 30, 2014

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Joe Downtown: 3 businesses, seeking grants for face-lifts, bank on east Fremont area

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The owner of the Bonanza Lodge, at at 1808 Fremont, says the property will continue to operate “until market conditions dictate alternative development.”

East Fremont redevelopment

A rendering shows what the Bonanza Lodge at 1808 Fremont Street would look like after proposed renovations. Launch slideshow »

One of the truisms about redevelopment is that urban zones forgotten and left for dead only turn around when perceptions do.

For decades, east Fremont Street was no-man’s land to most residents for the typical reasons: There was nothing to see unless you wanted to score drugs or get mugged.

Redevelopment has changed perceptions of the area. Recently, it’s not unusual to see people walking Fremont in the five blocks east of Las Vegas Boulevard to 10th Street, even at night.

But a bigger sign of altered views comes in the form of three applications to be considered Wednesday by the city Redevelopment Agency to issue visual improvement grants to the owner of two motels and an auto parts store on Fremont between 18th and 21st streets.

This is an area few ever believed redeemable.

A company known as Proview Series LLC earlier this year purchased three properties: the Bonanza Lodge at 1808 Fremont; the former Ariza Motel at 1919 Fremont; and an auto repair shop at 2101 Fremont.

The Bonanza, on 1.72 acres, sold for $975,000 in March; the Ariza, on .44 acres, sold for $215,000 in February; and the auto repair store, on .87 acres, sold for $332,000 in February.

In its application for Visual Improvement Program funds, Los Angeles-based Proview writes that the Bonanza Lodge remains operating as a motel, even though it has fallen into disrepair. As part of a $301,000 renovation, it is asking for the maximum grant of $50,000.

The company says the Bonanza will continue to operate “until market conditions dictate alternative development.”

Proview is asking for another $50,000 to put toward $225,000 in renovations to the boarded-up Ariza Motel, which it says it plans to reopen. It is asking for another $50,000 for an expected $132,000 in renovations to the auto repair shop.

The applicant says the auto repair shop will continue to operate, adding that “additional leases” are also being reviewed.

The Redevelopment Agency meets at 8:30 a.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 495 S. Main St.

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