Where the Shops Have No Name

The Downtown Project has big plans for the former 7-Eleven space at the southeast corner of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. If you tour the Downtown Project offices, you can even get a close look at them: The architectural drawings of the espresso bar, international newsstand (swoon!) and TED-talk-ready theater (i.e., a venue for clever, nominally intellectual presentations) that will move into the space by summer 2013 are hanging in plain view.

What you won’t find on those blueprints is the name of this techno-educational-caffeinated wonderland, because there isn’t one yet. Downtown Project founder Tony Hsieh said as much in a recent e-mail, adding that “the top contenders” are “Speak,” “Speaker’s Corner” and “Inspire.”

Hmm. “Inspire” is a good name for a lecture series, but on a storefront, it says “pastel-colored home furnishings.” And “Speak” says “woof.” (Good boy.) “Speaker’s Corner” is fine—but it’s only somewhat stronger than the name of the planned shipping container park, which remains “Container Park.”

No doubt we’ll get used to whatever names these places ultimately receive. Still, one wonders if the Downtown Project isn’t suffering from Namer’s Block. Say, that’s a great name!

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