Reno City Council Considers Funds for Park Lane Mall Project - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reno City Council Considers Funds for Park Lane Mall Project

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The former site of the Park Lane Mall is moving ahead with redevelopment. But before building can start, utilities under the vacant lot have to be moved.

The developer, Reno Land Inc. says sewer and storm drains need to be relocated. The estimated cost to move utilities is $11 million. On Wednesday, the Reno City Council agreed to consider subsidizing about $3.5 million of that.

"It's a great opportunity for what we all want to see there," said Reno City Councilman Oscar Delgado. 

The Reno City Council voted unanimously to explore their options to help out the developer with millions of dollars in infrastructure cost. That's because the former Park Lane Mall site faces challenges. Large storm drains and sewer lines cut across the property. With much of the space serving as a giant parking lot, it didn't pose a problem in the past. For construction to start on buildings, the developer says those utilities need to move. 

"To do a $3 million project to make this site ready, that's what cities do when they have a big infill site and they have encumbrances with public infrastructure there," said Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus. 

The developer estimates the project will generate more than $25 million in sales tax revenues for the City of Reno and Washoe County School District over the next 20 years.

Reno Land Inc. says another $77 million in property tax would be generated by the property. That includes more than $63 million that would be generated for one of Reno’s two redevelopment districts. That money would be available for improvements that would encourage other redevelopment.

It's also projected to create more than 3,000 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs. 

Chip Bowlby, the President and CEO of Reno Land, Inc said in the city council meeting on Wednesday, "We wanted to present you something that we believe in. We revive Reno. We believe in schools, we support schools, we support affordable housing, we support workforce housing. This isn't our last rodeo."

Retail, office space and more than 725 residential units will be built on the land. 

The first phase of the project would construct urban-garden apartments. Homes would range from studios to three-bedroom units.

After the first phase is complete, an additional 110,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space will be added.

For residents who drive by the empty lot everyday, they're pleased to see the new life coming to the property. 

Eric Erazo, from Reno said, "It's great for the community. I think we need to get something there. Because it's ugly. There's nothing there."

Gerardo Guerrero is the store manager at Soccer City across the street from the site. He expects future residents will be visiting his store. 

"People are going to look at the businesses in this area everyday. Not just passing by, but they could just peak out their house and look at what's around," said Guerrero. 

Developers plan to invest half a million dollars on the project. It is expected to break ground in the spring of next year and the Reno City Council will meet in the future to discuss exploring funds for the infrastructure costs. 

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