LAS VEGAS — Online shoe retailer Zappos.com on Monday began stepping into a new downtown Las Vegas corporate headquarters, after a multimillion-dollar makeover of the former Las Vegas city hall building.
Among the whimsical elements the first 200 employees will find in the rebranded 10-story building are a Lego brick sculpture in the lobby, pingpong tables in recreation areas and elevator video games.
The intent is to encourage interaction and creativity for up to 2,000 workers going to and from open-form work spaces in the days and weeks ahead, said Zach Ware, a contractor leading the $60 million campus redevelopment for Zappos Design.
"You start playing games and you miss your floor, which is the exact thing we were looking for," Ware told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/1fOoHEM).
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh describes the company philosophy and lifestyle in his book, "Delivering Happiness." It says the relaxed atmosphere encourages serendipitous collisions between workers doing everything from taking telephone orders to providing technical support to fashion buyers.
The move from a suburban business park in Henderson comes nearly three years after city officials and Hsieh (pronounced "Shay") agreed on a lease with the company that owns the downtown cornerstone property at Las Vegas Boulevard and the U.S. 95 freeway.
City Hall moved in February 2012 to a gleaming new glass building several blocks away.
Zappos.com had moved in 2004 from San Francisco to Henderson, as it grew from an online shoe-selling startup into a $1.2 billion Amazon.com corporate acquisition.
In addition to the office move, Hsieh is the main investor in Downtown Project, a $350 million real estate, business and technology effort to revitalize rundown areas around the corporate campus.
Cafes, bars and other businesses have cropped up, including some in buildings now owned or leased by the Downtown Project.
RGG, which is owned by Andrew Donner, the real estate consultant for Hsieh's downtown project, bought the old city hall in an $18 million deal. It has a 15-year lease with Amazon.com Inc., Zappos' parent company.
Despite the interior design changes, the monolithic facade exterior of the building remains much the way it did when it opened in 1973.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com