The on-again, off-again Downtown Project plan to remodel Fremont East's Fergusons Motel appears to once agai, be back on-again, more than two-and-a-half years after the proposal was first revealed.
New paperwork seeks permission to build a tavern with a patio at the motel, finish the plaza set aside for entertainment and dining, and create a 3,667-square-foot, second-story deck area. This new paper trail is now linked to John Curran, the "real estate portfolio manager" for the Downtown Project, suggesting a change in personnel will initiate a kick start after years of stalled ambition.
The 50,768-square-foot, 69-room Fergusons Motel was built in 1960, ultimately becoming a run-down albatross on Fremont. Tony Hsieh and his Downtown Project bought the space for $5 million in December 2012, initially planning to add three separate taverns with outdoor seating plus a fourth restaurant, imagined to be coffee shop. Over time, the shifting concept has also floated the idea of building a retro Las Vegas-themed tavern in the former front desk under the shadow of the motel's neon sign.
The central plaza would remove the on-site parking and blueprints show a shallow, four-step amphitheater in its place, designed for outdoor events. Right in the middle would also sit the 50-foot-tall Big Rig Jig sculpture from Los Angeles artist Mike Ross. The dramatic art piece was last seen in a dismantled state in a lot next door to the Hydrant Club dog park, waiting to be re-assembled.
Fergusons has also hoped to be a host for offices and at least 13 retail stores, a hipper version of the Container Park further west. Paperwork filed this week makes no mention of the retail possibilities.
A new timetable for construction has not been revealed and Downtown Project does not include the motel as part of their publicized portfolio. However, they do still promote ownership of the long-shuttered Las Vegas Camera Club and O Face Doughnuts.
No new plans for the other stalled Downtown Project music space and tavern, The Wheelhouse, have been filed in recent months.