Unveiling soon of proposed $1.3 billion downtown Reno project


A big and bold proposed development is expected to be unveiled at the April 27, 2016, Reno City Council meeting. This will be the first time the public and the council will learn more about a project with an estimated budget of $1.281 billion.

The approximately 17-acre plan includes residential, retail, office, hotel, parking and more. Reno City Council member David Bobzien said, "This is fantastic, really exciting but this just starts the discussion." He added, "I would urge my colleagues, and I'm sure they are on the same page, to do their homework and due diligence as there are many details to iron out in this discussion. I don't want us to get caught up in the moment."

The staff report notes staff has been working with Secundo Vita, LLC. The West 2nd District is an urban development project proposal by the Don J. Clark Group of Reno, Nevada. Don Clark is expected to be at the council presentation. The company is an architect-led redevelopment company.

The project will fall within a redevelopment district. Bobzien notes a unique angle on this proposal is the developer is willing to take the financial risk by up-fronting the infrastructure improvements. In exchange, the developer wants to be reimbursed by future tax revenue generated by the project itself. Bobzien said, "In this case the tax increment from the property taxes generated by the increased value of the developed land, would eventually go to the developer." But he added that would only happen if the project performed, and he pointed out the city would pay back its redevelopment debt first.

A tax increment study was completed by Keyser Marston Associates. In summary, the staff report notes that assuming the construction schedule takes five additional years to complete and assuming there is no additional growth in the redevelopment district #1, the tax increment generated will be approximately $46 million with a cumulative gross tax increment estimated at $77 million.

Bobzien said the land has mostly been assembled and acquired by the developer. This is different than other projects, including the baseball stadium. The land for the ballpark had to be acquired an assembled.That acquisition had a tight deadline of 90 days because of the looming deadline for the car rental tax that was a critical piece of funding that project. Bobzien said, "There is no crunch and no pressure on this deal." He added, "In the past, some of the deals are so complicated that it is hard to explain them to taxpayers. I think we need to make this deal as easy to understand as possible."

The staff report also notes on March 23, 2016, a request for an alley abandonment of 235 Ralston Street was continued to a future meeting. 235 Ralston Street is the first project submitted in the West 2nd District development.

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