Ask Joe: What's happening with eyesore building next to Reed High School?

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From the Ask Joe file, we are looking into a question from a viewer about what may be the longest standing eyesore in Sparks and whether some changes are in store.

Kiel Mendoza, a student at Reed High School, wrote in to say he's noticed there is some activity at the old rest home across the street from the campus. He asked if we could find out what's going on there.

Here's what I found out:

The abandoned building across from the high school was once an assisted living facility, but it has been vacant and neglected for years.

I spoke with Sparks City Manager Steve Driscoll. He said the building has been vacant for more than a decade, maybe as long as 15 years, but there is a new owner of the property now.

Driscoll says the grocery store company Smith's has purchased the land, and there are already visible signs of some construction work taking place, as we saw when we went out to take a look.

Driscoll said the first step will be some asbestos removal, and then crews will start to demolish the existing structure so they can build a gas station on part of the property. The gas station should be complete by the fall. Driscoll says they don't know the plans are for the rest of the property.

As the economy continues to improve, we will likely see more developers buying abandoned properties like the one we're talking about in this story.

It's great to see some positive activity taking place. We'll keep you posted on the progress there!

As always if you have a question, or a story you'd like me to investigate, send me an email at

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