Park Lane for $27,500,000 Alex

park-lane-chick-page-0-1The sale of the Park Lane Mall property just recorded with a sales price of $27,500,000 or about $600,000 per acre.  Design concepts will be presented to the Council in 3 weeks on an informational basis and I suspect the planning team behind the W 2nd Street District won’t be at the table this time.

When I’ve looked at Park Lane in the past, it started penciling at $20M.   It’s a new day, and $27.5M probably works for a well-funded developer.  In the end, the seller didn’t suffer too much on the investment, and the Reno National Siegel Sanctuary will get developed.

  • Steak and Shake coming to 400 South Meadows Parkway – permits just filed.


  • Las Vegas Raiders – Geopower has been asking me to bow in with a post on the Specials Session to approve $750M in “public” funding and the Washoe County circus to fill our vacant Senate and Assembly seats.  Meh.  It’s a done deal (typo said dome!), I hate any sort of public funding for private business (especially without profit participation), and what I think really isn’t going to count.


  • WC1 – Don’t be a moron, vote Yes.  WCSD is a frickin’ mess to say the least, their Board is worse, and I’m certain there will be some abuse of process distributing the funds raised for school construction/renovation.  But at a cost of a latte a week, I’ll take the gamble and try to give our students a fighting chance to succeed.


Meridian 120 S THUMB-page-0-1So far, the developments in the Mortensen Garson Neighborhood Plan area around Boomtown have centered around the 273 unit Meridian 120 North SFR project, the Dermody Properties 885,000 SF warehouses (site work is under way), and the 242 unit apartment site just north of the KOA.  In fact, the majority of the Plan affects land south of I-80.  The Meridian 120 South properties have just come on the Market.  230 SFRs, 380 Attached units, 180,000 SF of industrial space.  The listing is a rare detailed look into projected sales prices, cost to “finish” a lot, details like West Meadows Estates is now a DR Horton project and not Northern Nevada Home (who swore up and down that it wasn’t an “entitlement” play).  The site plan has been altered a bit to exclude the need for the 1600 unit Santerra development to occur at the same time.

  •  The utterly massive proposed/pending/promoted West 2nd Street development took a knee capping when the owner of one of their prime parcels they had “under control” list their 2.7 acre parcel for $4,281,076.83.  I haven’t bagged on W 2nd – I really hoped my cynicism might be misplaced and that I along with the rest of the entire Reno development community was wrong.Dr. John W 2nd-page-0




  • And the Standard@Reno luxury student-or-maybe-not student housing project northeast of downtown?  “Delayed”.  So we have 61 low income families relocated so that the site can look even worst than it did for the foreseeable future?
  • Real Estate 101 – it ain’t over even after the fat lady sings.  You NEVER announce or even discuss pending deals until the are closed and recorded.  Yet we have had W 2nd Street going for TIF financing (to the horror of the council) before there was a real project, and trying to validate their project by making it public.  The Standard is wavering – either they didn’t do their homework on the 1000’s of student housing units ahead of them in line, there wasn’t enough slop offered up in the development concessions trough, or maybe just a “standard” development hiccup.  Park Lane Mall – Chip assured the readers of Reno Magazine (the cover boy, pictured in front of a Bentley) it will close this month.  You talk about closing after the close.  You cannot will a project into existence.

Retail Roundup

lithia PlumbOne of my MURPs looks like it is getting redeveloped.  Lithia Motors has filed an application with Planning to occupy the entire 110,000 SF “abandoned” Sak and Save shopping center at Plumb and Kietzke.  Glad to see the change happening, though auto retail is probably not my first choice of land use at that intersection.  Just the plans HERE or the complete 128 page application HERE.

While Dick’s Sporting Goods is about to open their doors at Meadowood Mall, Sears is preparing to drastically reduce their presence.  Auto center gone.  37,000 SF of the first floor gone.  Tough to tell if half, none, or all of the 2nd floor is being given up.  These parking lot shots tell the story:

Sears Meadowood photo-page-2


Sparks Has Smaller Cars Than Reno

Parking LotA standard 90 degree parking space in Reno is 9′ wide by 19′ deep.  In Sparks, it is 8′ wide by 16′ deep.  Go out and measure your car, then tell me who has it right.  Both require a 24′ aisle.  Who is doing a reality check and supporting redevelopment?

  • There are 20,000 units of housing either approved or moving up the chain in Cold Springs, and this is the work force stuff at best case  that will be built first as our region expands.  Cold Springs is going to bear the brunt of at least 50% of our regional housing growth over the next decade.  395 is already a nightmare especially at the bowl, but developer traffic studies only include their impacts up to the on ramps.  I’m sure RTC and NDOT are all over this trend and are planning accordingly.  Or not.
  • What’s wrong with this picture? new-virginian1


  • I’m thinking this PERMIT may be a typo on the APN? If not, WOW!
  • 1250 Sullivan Lane, Sparks.  32 1 bedroom workforce housing units going vertical, again in Sparks not Reno.  This single project tops all the units added in Downtown/Midtown Reno over the past year.  Or 2.IMG_2015

What I’m Looking For

LookingLots of movement downtown, but not a lot of action.  Here is what I track almost daily:

  • The Standard Student Housing – I reviewed a 50% construction document set 2.5 months ago.  No permits for new construction have been filed, no demo permits for the now vacant and boarded up existing structures have been filed.  It is starting to feel like this one is going South.  If there is a land sale, it will kill the assumptions of below.
  • W 2nd Street District – The permit for 235 Ralston has been ready to pick up for over 3 months.  A $435,000 deed of trust was recorded, but I think it was only to pay off the deluded consultants on the project, certainly not construction financing.  Everybody HATES how this proposal was presented (Council to the developer community). I like the idea, and give it a .0% chance of happening.
  • Park Lane Mall – WTF? – Smart developers NEVER talk about projects in process until they close.  I think the public stance is only a negotiating ploy.  Show me a closed deal.

Sales and Listings

belvedere fireThere have been some large and interesting sales and listings since I check in last.

  •  The Sundowner/Belvedere South Town is is masquerading as Arlington North, and is available for $12,000,000.  The Belvedere built all the amenities for the entire project as part of the North Tower, and has the highest HOA monthly dues of any condo in Reno.  Separating out the South Tower with be interesting.
  • Firecreek Crossing is the retail center at SVA and Kietzke.  It sold pretty fully leased in October 2005 for $66,000,000 with anchor tenants like Safeway, Circuit City, and Sports Authority.  It sold in July for $48,490,000, with the Circuit City and Sports Authority leases for 90, SF discharged in their respective bankruptcy proceedings.  Will the new Stations Casino just announced for next-door turns things around for the vacant Big Box spaces at Firecreek?  Nah.
  • The purchase of Fly Ranch by the Burning Man folks has gotten all the attention, but Black Rock City Properties LLC just closed on 7 parcels in “downtown Gerlach” for $169,993.
  • Upstream is that Rancho San Rafael clone on the Truckee off Dickerson Road.  The project was foreclosed on for $1,555,000 in 3/2011, resold for $1,125,000 in 11/2012, resold again for $1,548,000 in 9/2015.  This sale included +/- 86 vacant but completed lots and 6 completed townhouses.  The 86 vacant Parcels just sold to Jenuane Communities for $4,050,000 or over $46,000 per completed lot.  I am a huge believer in the artist colony forming on Dickerson, but this sale looks pretty rich to me.  Congratulations to Siven Properties for the largest 1 year ROI in Reno!
  • Toll Brothers just closed on the majority of the Caramella Ranch Estates PUD.  the 329 acres they purchased for $29,443,473 are entitled to 1132 of the 1316 units approved in the PUD.   The Lennar controlled 1550 unit Butler Ranch PUD is still out there just south of Heron’s Landing.  I’ll be working up a post about the approved and pending PUDS, and the process it takes to turn a PUD into homes.  All I can say is that I weep for Cold Springs, which is scheduled to be inflicted with the majority of our regional growth.

I’m Not Dead Yet

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, but I’ve been looking for some very specific recordings that haven’t happened yet.

  •  Italian Capital sale to the Standard for student housing.  This will reset downtown property values.
  • 235 Ralston – Approved permit, but $300,00 to pick it up.  This is the first piece of the West 2nd Street District, and it looks like a fail.  235 Ralston just received a $435K loan, but I think it is just to pay off the consultants.
  • 1402-1416 Tonopah – Yeah, my project working its way through the permit process and some units are back into the permit loop.  Certainly not “affordable housing” as the Council is defining it.
  • Ridges at Hunter Creek – $10M+ sale of whackadoodle development in the UWI.
  • Somersett County Club Value Engineering permit – word is that they ar $1M over budget going in.

Stay tuned.


  • Sunset Bluffs Site 2Sunset Bluffs above Mogul failed in 2008, leaving that gaping sore you see from I-80.  It was really the only visible memento of the crash that we saw here on the West Side of town, but was horrific and still is.  A permit was filed today to complete the SITE WORK on the project at a cost of $2,835,926 spread out among the potential 41 finished lots.  Land and development costs will exceed $100,000 per lot in an area with zero services, dangerous freeway access, and none of the cache of Somersett.  I want the scar removed, and wish the developer luck.  They will need it.
  • Not to be confused with Sunset Bluffs, The Bluffs Apartments are on W 4th Street just east of the Bella Vista development.  Originally 8 SFR lots, a large apartment complex was approved under Reno’s wildly ambitious W 4th Street Transit Corridor Plan.  Now going back to SFRs.
  • Mesa Rim Climbing Center – The hit of San Diego is coming here!  I think the address will end up being 980 Hahvahd Way at Yale, but is definitely APN 13-281-03.  After buying the dirt for $1,471,019, there is a permit filled for a new $2,841,175 12,641 SF building.
  • Meridian 120 has applied for mapping on the first 98 units next to Cabela’s – Frankenwarehouse – New Boomtown Truck stop.  There seems to be well testing going on right now at the SW corner of the Garson exit.  As a neighbor, I’ve got to ask why there isn’t a comprehensive traffic study that includes ALL the projects coming to this intersection.


Bric a Brac

dumpster divingHere are a few items that have caught my eye in the last couple weeks:

  •  Airport Square sold at auction for $15,250,000.  This is the Costco center on Plumb/Harvard, but excludes Costco itself.  The new owners out to the Pacific Northwest have already been talking to Reno Planning (take to the back room if you don’t want to be eavesdropped on, guys!).
  • The old Wal-Mart at 2050 Pyramid also sold for $1,475,000, less than half the 2004 price.  Local developers, but no clue what they are going to propose for the site.
  • Upstream – remember this project off Dickerson N of Idlewild Park?  Bought for a steal out of foreclosure, the have just filed 10+ permits for new townhouses.
  • Somersett Village 6 – This is everything NW of the “abandoned” fire station.  Toll Brothers have activated plans for 165 new SFRs. These lots will need $100K in improvements each to get ready to build on, so don’t expect workforce housing.
  • Sierra Canyon Village 15B – Pulte has pulled permits for the first house on Broderick in Village 15B.  This it – the large parcel matching lots adjoining Mogul.  I expect they will submit for all their remaining lots by 30 June, and the project will close out with the listing of their Sales Center properties.
  • 1 July 2016 – 2012 IEEC (International Energy Efficiency Code) goes into effect in Reno and Sparks.  R38 roof insulation goes to R49.  Windows need to get slightly more efficient, but it looks like Low E will be required.  We are building our envelopes so tight that indoor air quality has become an issue, so new mechanical ventilation standards are going into effect.  Net cost is approximately $5000 per unit.  I was there when one of the major builders came in with their revisions to their “Master” building permits, and is politely ugly at the Revision Desk.  It will get politely uglier as everyone else files by 30 June.
  • 1401 SVA – Over 95% leased with Morgan’s Lobster Shack expanding pre-construction to move their raw bar to the 2nd floor.  Only 1 space left – great office or yoga den.
  • Tonopah Lofts at 1401 Midtown  – 8 new SFRs in duplex configuration from Blake Smith at S3 Development.  All are in for permit (and you can check their progress using the info in the prior post).
  • Midtown Lofts aka Bridal Units aka Sinclair /Stewart – Another Blake Smith development, the 3 SFRs on Sinclair are permitted and ready to break ground.  The 6 SFR/Duplex unit are in the final Structural plan check phase, and permits should be issued later this week.
  • Within 2 weeks, I will have $8,000,000 in construction activity going on in Midtown alone, when you add in the Marmot activity.
  • 1250 Sullivan in Sparks is another $2.5M 32 unit apartment complex in the last plan check phases.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Fun With Virtual Permits

Permit ImageReno has the Acela permit tracking system, which is generally used for contractors to schedule inspection and architect to track their permit submissions.  But anyone can have a lot of fun digging through the data it provides.


This is the Virtual Permit Place.

  •  Engineering – This is parcel maps for the most part.  You can enter the street or specific street number you are interested in and see what has been filed.  Or done enter anything, scroll down to Search and hit enter, and you will see a chronological list of engineering permits filed.
  • Planning – Same search tools as Engineering.  Planning intake is typically the 2nd Monday of the month, so some interesting stuff should start showing up soon.  Also check out the DRMs about mid-month.
  • Enforcement – Same search parameters.  It is really fun to see neighbors narc on each other for weeds and abandoned cars.
  • Building – This is what I track on a daily basis.  Enter nothing in the search fields and hit Enter on the bottom of the page to bring up a list of recently submitted permits.  You can enter an address range to track a specific location (try 1401 and Virginia to see what is active at the old Heritage Bank project.  Note that Morgan’s is back in Review status, and click on Processing Status to see what is going on).  One of my favorites is search by Parcel Number.  This doesn’t have to be complete.  To see what permits are in the system for Reno controlled Verdi, just enter 038 (the Assessor’s Book Number and the first 3 digits of the APN) and enter.  For most of Somersett enter 232.  Most of downtown is 010, 011, 012, 013 or 014.

The system has recently been “upgraded” and is a little buggy right now, but there is a wealth of information when you start to understand the drop down menus. Say you want to research 235 Ralston, the keynote of the proposed W 2nd Street District.  Go to Building, enter 235 Ralston in the address field (or just Ralston and pick from the results).  Pick the reports you want to see – Processing Status is the most important, typically.  235 is ready to pick up mostly – there are always details to handle at the end – and has been for a month.  Check out the Fees tab – it claims not to be accurate but it is.  235 needs to pay a $300K permit fee to pick up and active their permit.  Now when I see that at no financing recorded for a project, I start to wonder how real it is.  Just sayin’.  Picking up a permit and paying the fees is where the rubber meets the road.

Enter BLD16-06362 into the Permit Number field on Building.  That’s one of mine.  If you delve into it, it is an active permit with a Revision going on for Morgan’s Lobster Shack at Blake Smith’s 1401 Midtown project.  You could also find this by entering 1401 and Virgin in the address fields and selecting Morgans.  As of right now if you pull up Processing status, Building was supposed to respond by today and they haven’t, and Planning review is sort of messed up in the system.

Anyway, the Virtual Permit Place is a really fun tool to keep you up on what is happening in your neck of the woods.  And elsewhere.  Find anything cool or unexpected?  255 Sierra?