Las Vegas Sun

January 30, 2015

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Joe Downtown: Does Starbucks herald ‘arrival’ of East Fremont?

An unthinkable business move just a few years ago may become a reality.

Though four Starbucks coffee retailers already exist in downtown Las Vegas – two in the Golden Nugget casino, one in the Bank of America building, and one near Rancho Drive and Charleston Boulevard – none exists east of Las Vegas Boulevard in the Fremont East Entertainment District.

That might soon change.

A real estate broker this week confirmed she was seeking space in that corridor because the downtown population base is growing. Two large businesses, in fact, will increase the area’s workforce population by about 2,000 by the end of this year. Zappos is moving some 1,300 employees from Henderson to downtown this fall; and casino/hotel Downtown Grand is in the process of recruiting 800 before its fall opening.

“I’m looking in that part of the Las Vegas market for a store and, if so, what type because we have multiple types; we have a cafe, a wine-and-beer type, a juice store,” said Terry Kelley, president of Nevada Commercial. “This area might be good for one of those concepts.”

Aside from existing Starbucks and restaurants that serve coffee, The Beat is currently the only true coffee shop/meeting place downtown at Sixth and Fremont streets.

Besides Starbucks, the owner of another local coffee retailer, Sambalatte in Summerlin, has told the Sun he also wants to open one of his stores downtown in 2014.

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.

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