Las Vegas Sun

January 31, 2015

Currently: 64° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Joe Downtown: Ferguson Motel being converted into taverns, retail spaces

Built more than 60 years ago, the Ferguson Motel is one of the nicer-looking pieces of Vegas memorabilia still upright on Fremont Street.

It’s been closed for several months, however, after Downtown Project partners purchased it in December for $5 million. A fence surrounds the more than 1 acre of property at 1028 Fremont.

When the fence comes down, according to plans submitted with the city, it won’t be a motel anymore. Instead, there will be three separate taverns run by three different owners, plus nearly three dozen retail shops. The current parking lot serving three buildings, which form a horseshoe around the lot, will be converted into nearly 9,000 square feet of patio, according to the plans.

In city documents, staff confirm parking requirements aren’t needed for the space because it lies within the city’s Downtown Centennial Plan boundaries. And in a justification letter, Todd Kessler, hired as part of a team to work on Downtown Project’s real estate purchases, pointed out that 2.75 acres of vacant land just a block away are soon to be converted into parking by Downtown Project. “Retail Center” patrons will be allowed to park there “for a discounted fee,” Kessler wrote.

The motel’s 69 rooms will be converted into 31 retail outlets in sizes ranging from 280 to 1,040 square feet. According to a schematic, the motel’s registration office will become a coffee shop. Two buildings just north of the motel will be converted into private offices.

Kessler also wrote the project would "provide a much needed amenity to the new wave of urbanites that are now living Downtown, as well as attract other suburban area residents to come experience what is occurring Downtown.”

The three tavern owners will require three separate special-use permits, which the city's Planning Commission will consider at its 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday, July 9.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 2 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Beautiful

    I like this idea of the DTP....turning a decrepit property around, instead of taking a thriving business (Bunkhouse) and closing and changing it, or booting the bodega off of Fremont, or turning 208 S 8th into some kind of dormitory.

  2. Yeah, just what DT needs - 3 more taverns! Aren't there enough joints for alkies to get plowed and drive drunk already?