The superstar American entrepreneur who built Zappos into a billion dollar online shoe and apparel store recently announced that he would be relocating the company’s headquarters from a Nevada suburb to downtown Las Vegas.
So what’s the big deal? Well, there’s a BIG twist…
While it’s known for its hotels and “entertainment”, Vegas’s downtown core is not what you would call thriving. Not only are Tony and his colleagues putting up $60 million to lease out a downtown office building, they’re also spending $350 million to revitalize a 1.5 square mile area of Sin City’s downtown core.
There’s money for new residential development, education investments, local businesses and tech start-ups that Tony wants to attract to the area. Talk about an entrepreneur with a heart of gold!
Tony doesn’t have an urban planning background; he’s more of a computer guy. But when you’re smart, you’re smart and often times the business skills that Tony clearly has in spades are highly transferable.
He and his team have been doing their due diligence though. According to an article in CNN Money:
“None of the group has real estate or urban planning experience. They use the recent Edward Glaeser book Triumph of the City as a bible and have consulted with Richard Florida’s Creative Class Group, but they do most of the brainstorming themselves: a big beige wall in Hsieh’s apartment has a collection of colored post-it notes listing the ingredients that they think go into the perfect neighborhood (“jazz fest,” “beer garden,” “wine bar/wine and cheese store”, “dog park,” “hybrid e-school (eg Khan Academy),” “Yoga!” are some.)”
Sounds promising and we wish Tony and his team nothing but the best in this amazing initiative.
We know what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, but this news was just too cool not to share.
Check out this CNN video for all the details!