A Look Inside the Park Lane Mall Development: It's Actually Happ - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

A Look Inside the Park Lane Mall Development: It's Actually Happening

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The site of the former Park Lane Mall has been a Reno eyesore for a decade, but in about a week, construction is officially beginning on a massive new development there.

The site isn't much but old asphalt, weeds, and occasionally a flock of seagulls. But over the next five years Reno Land Inc. plans to turn the massive 46-acre lot into more than a thousand new apartments and a whole lot more.

"I'm numb," Reno Land Inc. President and CEO Chip Bowlby said of the project finally moving forward. "I think you've got to pinch me!"

It's been a long journey for Bowlby. He's been trying to get the Park Lane project off the ground for more than a year.

"I'm going to get giddy again, right?" Bowlby said. "All these weeds you see behind me are going to replaced with housing, retail, shopping."

A lot of it, at that.

The massive multi-use project calls for as many as 1,600 housing units. Bowlby said the more, the better. Mixed in will be 85,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and room for a grocery store and a one-acre park.

"We'll have farmer's markets," Bowlby said. "We'll have concerts on the green."

The idea is to create a Millennial hub right at the south end of Midtown. As Bowlby says, "where main meets main," a direct shot up Plumb Lane from the airport to Virginia Street.

"This is the ultimate mixed-use project," Bowlby said. "There's very few opportunities in California or anywhere where you can have a piece of canvas like this: 46 acres, and you can paint your own Picasso, right?"

A Picasso is right-- in price at least. This is a $600 million investment; a big risk. But there are some positive early signs for a return on that investment.

"We probably have a list of two or three thousand people that have already inquired about being here," Bowlby said.

Those new residents, however, will not be from the lower-income sector that's struggling so much to find housing in Reno right now. Bowlby said the smallest units will around $1,000 or $1,200 a month.

A few months back there was a bit of a snag when it came to the project's infrastructure and the City of Reno. There's a big storm drain that runs under the lot, which will have to be moved and replaced before building can start. Reno Land Inc. is paying for that $7 million project, and the city is reimbursing half of the cost, since, according to Reno Director of Public Works John Flansberg, they would have to replace it anyway in about ten years.

Bowlby expects to break ground on that infrastructure upgrade in a little over a week. And you can expect to see buildings start rising out of the empty lot right around New Year's.

"It is happening," Bowlby said. "We are ready. We are going to hit the ground running, and we are excited."

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