Groundbreaking ceremony held for Rancharrah
The former estate of Reno gaming magnate Bill Harrah is marking a new beginning. In October 2015, Harrah's son, John, sold the 141-acre property to Reno Land Development Company. The local developer held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the first phase of construction on the new master planned community.
When it's built out, Rancharrah will feature 611 residential units. They will include a mix of luxury homes, townhouses and condos. The community will also feature places where you can set up your office, grab a bite to eat at a restaurant or cafe as well as areas where you'll be able to shop.
In addition to the new, the developer has promised to keep a lot of the old. The Harrah's mansion will remain and be repurposed to house a restaurant as well as social and hunting clubs. Harrah's equestrian center will also remain as will the "look and feel" of the property.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said, "My eyes got bigger and bigger when they talked about keeping open space; some 30 percent of the property will be open space. It really is such a unique project. I've never seen anything like it."
Schieve admits when she first learned the property had been purchased by a developer, she said her heart sank for fear Reno would lose an historic gem. But she said after meeting with the developer, those fears subsided. She said, "When I walked the property with the developers, I was so impressed with their love and knowledge of the history of this incredible property."
Reno Land Development Company Managing Partner Chip Bowlby said, "I don't know if anyone ever thought that anything would be developed out here, but now that it is, it's going to bring a lot of people from the local community to move over here. The baby boomer market will definitely be attracted to this area."
The property sits in Reno City Council member Naomi Duerr's Ward 2. She said the development has neighbors on all sides adding, "Developing an infill project is tough." She noted the neighbors all initially had concerns, not about preserving the history but about noise and traffic. She said, "I have to give credit to the developer. They got in the neighborhood, met the neighbors, held open houses, let them tour the property. They asked the neighbors to register their concerns and then went out and addressed those concerns."