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While making the drive from LA to Vegas, you might notice the many roadside signs stating that the highway is sponsored by Zappos. That's because Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has sponsored the stretch all the way from the California border to Las Vegas. Hsieh, a Vegas resident, has spoken publicly about his desire to revitalize the city's downtown neighborhood, and in a Footwear News article today, he goes into much detail about his plans.
Zappos is moving its headquarters into a City Hall building overlooking downtown, and Hsieh has spent $350 million of his own funds to launch the Downtown Project, a community investment fund intended to transform downtown Vegas into a live/work destination for creative types. Stitch Factory, a shared space for designers that's fitted with machinery, opened last month—and the fund is reportedly in talks with garment and footwear manufacturers who'd like to move their business to Sin City.
That's not the full extent of it, though: There will also be a medical facility, a private school, a theater and a Shipping Container Park with room for retailers, eateries and startups. The plans are already in motion; interested Magic, Project and other tradeshow attendees can take tours of the Downtown neighborhood by reaching out on downtownproject.com.
· FN Spy the Magazine: Transforming Old Las Vegas [Footwear News]
· Tony Hsieh's new $350 million startup [Fortune]
· The 38 Essential Online Shopping Experiences, Winter 2013 [Racked]