Developer Still Plans to Build High-Rise Neighborhood in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Developer Still Plans to Build High-Rise Neighborhood in Reno

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More than a year after the Don J Clark Group released its plan to redevelop several city blocks just west of downtown Reno, construction crews have yet to break ground. The West 2nd District would include 15 to 30 mixed-use buildings, including one that would be the tallest in Reno. While the project is behind, the developer says he is getting closer to making the project a reality.

"We are finalizing the funding to move ahead," Don Clark, Architect and developer said. "It's been a lag. Obviously, on something this complicated, there's a lot to it, but it's getting ready to start coming out of the gate again."

The project includes 1,900 residential units for sale or rent. Twenty percent of them would be reserved for lower income residents. Clark says the plan is to build state-of-the-art buildings using the latest technology. That includes increasing efficiency by connecting some of the buildings.

"We can use two different buildings to balance heating and cooling," Clark said. "We can use the combined energy of those to even focus on security or to focus on how you communicate, how you manage properties."

The Don J Clark Group is presenting some of its technological aspects at Wednesday's NCET tech meeting. That could include the latest in seismic technology to solar energy.

"We use technology from the inception of the design, into technologies in heating and cooling, on water usage," Clark said.

Technology changes very quickly, and Clark says it is important to build with that in mind. He expects today's tech to completely change within five years, which could be shorter than his window to build some complexes. That is why he wants to build in a way that can adapt to those changes.

"What we're planning today will be completely obsolete and replaced before we finish," Clark said. "So, we have to build the underbelly and we have to build the infrastructure that supports the change and not lock into something that doesn't let us evolve."

Reno's housing prices continue to rise and inventory is still low. That is creating more demand for housing, which Clark expected. The project is behind schedule, and Clark says he would have liked to open his first building at 235 Ralston Street by now.  His plan is to build at a steady pace, as long as demand is strong enough.

"We're looking to build as much as we can as soon as we can but not go so fast that we create insanity," Clark said.

If the project goes on as he plans, Clark says it will fill a need for housing and downtown redevelopment.

"There's no great city without a great downtown," Clark said. "It's time for us to have a great downtown again."

Clark does not have a timeline for when crews will break ground on the first building but says it will happen about one month after he closes on the funding.  The original plan also included two hotels. Clark's latest plan only has one hotel because others have opened downtown, including Whitney Peak, The Renaissance, and Courtyard by Marriott. He says there are still many businesses that are interested in the retail and office space that would be created in the West 2nd District.

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