Past the Arts Factory, as you head down Casino Center Boulevard towards Fremont, is one of my favorite blocks in town. A handful of bungalows in various states of repair are covered with vibrant murals and graffiti. The front door of one building sports a man in a gas mask with the words, “Please pardon our dust,” and if you stand at the right spot, the bungalows are framed by sleek high-rise Newport Lofts, two sides of the neighborhood in one focused frame. I’ve often wondered whether the cottages would ever be more than a colorful curiosity.
The answer came in the form of a banner. Oakbrook Realty & Investments, the Illinois-based company that owns the buildings, is renting them under the name Artists Walk, pitching the cottages as studios for $250-$300 a month. “Downtown probably has more construction than the rest of Las Vegas right now,” says Oakbrook’s Kevin Plencner, adding that long-term plans include erecting small stages for live performances and, eventually, tearing down the bungalows for a mid-rise that would have a grocery store with studio space upstairs. Here’s hoping they let artists have their way with that building, too.