I want developer J Dapper’s multimillion-dollar overhaul of Huntridge Shopping Center to work. The 62,000-square-foot, midcentury-style shopping center, located on the southwest corner of Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, is five minutes’ walk from my door. I have more personal investment in its eponymous Tavern and its Savers location than I do in the Huntridge Theatre just across the street.
Dapper gets it. “It’s not just a shopping center; it’s a shopping center that’s been here for 60 years,” he says. That’s why he’s being so methodical in reconfiguring the property “in a way that makes sense. We’re working really hard to do all these renovations without disrupting our tenants.”
Every business currently operating at Huntridge Shopping Center will remain, albeit transformed. Hi-Rollers Barber Shop will expand; Savers will be remodeled, both inside and out; the Huntridge Tavern will get new bathrooms, a new back office and even a patio, while preserving its decades-old dive-bar realness; the Huntridge Pharmacy will move to the end of the row and see the return of its lunch counter, which Dapper has “a couple of stellar operators” on tap to run.
This remodel also accommodates the first Downtown location of Dallas, Texas chain Wingstop, whose ornate, vintage-style neon sign was recently installed. “I know it’s not the kind of organic Downtown business that people really favor, but you’ve gotta have it,” Dapper says. “The synergy of corporate and cool mom-and-pop businesses is going to make this shopping center thrive.”
Only one space remains, the one formerly occupied by discount grocer Save-a-Lot, which closed last year when the chain eliminated its West Coast operation. Dapper calls the closure “a blessing in disguise.”
“We have a really good opportunity to potentially land the kind of grocer that Downtown wants to see here. I may have to give a lot of incentives to convince them to come down here, but I’m prepared to do that.” Dapper is preparing to talk to several urban-friendly chains, including Sprouts, 365 by Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, armed with firsthand knowledge of what Downtown Vegas could be.
“Now that things are staring to come together, people say to me, ‘Wow, this is a great property,’” Dapper says. “But when I first bought it, they said, “Are you sure you wanna do this?”