Urban Infill Cheat Sheet

Why is Midtown and the rest of Downtown such a pit today after over a decade of redevelopment work?  Maybe it has something to do with what the potential developers have to work with courtesy of COR.  I’m not dissing the requirements, just telling you what they are.

  • Trash Enclosures – Buried in the Landscape and Screening section of the code. Trash Enclosures are required for BUILDINGS containing more than 4 units.  You can have as many tri-plexes as you want without triggering the 11×10′ trash enclosure.  Go figure.
  • Handicapped Parking – The requirement for HC parking gets triggered at 5 units total on a parcel.  Reno Planning should be picking this requirement up on the ir Plan Check Reviews, but they routinely miss this.
  • Sprinklers – A duplex doesn’t have to be sprinkled. but anything from a 3-plex an up does.  $5000 per unit on the average.
  • Codes – 2 units are IRC (International Residential Code, 3 and above are IBC (International Building Code).  A tough estimate is an additional $5000 per unit based on the code upgrades.
  • Code 2 – We have adopted the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code.  Conservation is good, but complying with the code is adding $5000 in cost per unit in compliance costs alone just to document, plus another $5000 per unit for the energy conservation upgrades.
  • Planning – Improving density is the goal, until you try to increase density, then the 1236 pages of our Development Code kicks in.  I have a benign duplex infill project pending that Planning has now reviewed 4 times because of a nasty neighbor, with new requirements each review.  It is costing my client thousands in fees to respond to issues Planning should be dismissing,

West of Somersett

First off, the 221,000 SF 1st phase of Demody Properties Frankenwarehouse project is nearing completion.  I’ll set the rumors straight – the tenant is Patagonia.  They appear to have rented the entire building, based on their permit for nearly a mile and a half of pallet racking over 8′ high.  The second build of 4 has been sitting idle for a couple months, but now work has resumed and is going backwards and forwards at he same time.  The WWM (welded wire mesh for you construction geeks) for the slab reinforcement has been removed from most of the site, and it appears construction is gearing back up without a slab.  This would indicate a more manufacturing use, where the underslab utilities will be added at a later date.

The real story is what else is planned W of Somersett (and a few projects within it).  I think you should be able to click the map above and make it huge.  West Meadows is already grading and has their final maps approved.  Meridian 120 S should start mass grading any day, and has started to submit their “Master” floor plans for permit.  Meridian 120 S hit the Planning Commission next month.  The Boomtown and Meridian 120 S multi family lots (up to 622 units) are both on the market.  It is rumored that the 676 Stan Lucas property is going to DR Horton and will be submitted in the near future for a Tentative Map.  To the W of the Stan Lucas parcel is the 350 acre Kronish holding – no word on their ultimate intentions, but they are already developing “estate lots” off of the Riverdale development.

So what was once known as Verdi is in for some changes, and in the near shovel ready future.  There are a few thousand acres in private ownership moving up Peavine that are assumed to be public, but are actually developable and Reno will gladly annex them in.  Lots of competition for seats on the deck at Sasquatch in a couple years, Steve Jobs!

I want to make a point about perceived “open space” and developable land.  Caughlin Ranch is surrounded on the western side with developable land, though the County/City will need to approve density.  Both have policies to allow increased density at locations where public utilities and services already exist.

I’d say that it sucks to see my ranchero surrounded by development, but in this case, I’d actually like to see more density.  It takes 6000 or so roof to support a grocery store, and West of Somersett S of the Truckee will never support that as planned.  At some point, a bridge connecting the Boomtown/Garson interchange will need to be built over the Truckee to Old Us 40 now know as W 3rd Street.  In my dreams!

Gold Dust West Buying the Sands

The press release announcing the agreement for Jacobs Entertainment, Inc. to purchase the Sands Casino snuck out on New Year’s Eve Eve, and didn’t draw much attention.  Now the Piazzo family has sold the GDW building to what sure looks like Jacob’s when you track down the signatures.

I’ve talked about all the acquisition activity in the 4th Street Corridor, and Jacobs now controls a huge swath of land.  I haven’t heard anything about what the project will become – unlike some other developers, they are keep quiet.

Large version HERE.

Portfolio Buy

TDC Reno Office 1-DE SPE LLC just purchased most of the AMH/TICO/Alex House portfolio of properties in the biggest transaction of the year.  A combined $22,360,000 for 6 buildings totaling (my best guess) 144,877 SF at $150/SF.  There are also 3 parking lot parcels thrown into the mix.

TDC is Tolles Development Company, Par Tolles, formerly the main man at Basin Street Properties and now on his own mission.  In an industry full of scum bags and loosers, I can tell you that Par Tolles is the real deal – someone who can be trusted absolutely and respected by the entire corporate real estate world around here.  I wish him success.

How did AMH do in the deal?  It is really impossible to tell.  They bought in the last swell, but also invested heavily in improving their properties.  I don’t think they lost.

So here they are:

100 Washington.

140 Washington.

275 Hill.

241 Ridge.

201 W Liberty.

301 Cordone.

Small Leases = Big Impact

cafe-jefe-logoReno is a hot bed of start-ups and entrepreneurs right now.  Unfortunately, most are uncreditworthy, have limited funding, and business plans that only state that they are going to become the Next BIG Thing.  So convincing a landlord to believe in your business and sign the lease rates an ovation.  Here are a couple new tenants downtown:

  • Cafe Jefe has a bricks and mortal location in the “burbs” on Lakeside, but is probably better known for their bicycle based cold brewed coffee mobile facility.  The are reportedly moments away from signing up at the El Cortez for a 24/7 coffee shop with in-house small batch roastery.
  • RhinoHub is a growing local digital marketing and branding venture.  They are new tenants at Dark Horse Property’s 1139 S Virginia Street project.  It is truly great to see a mix of uses entering in to this MU district.  We need the business/office component to support the commercial/retail component in MidTown.
  • 22 W Taylor Street Salon and Boutique is a new addition at you guessed it, 22 W Taylor Street.  This is a conversion from residential to commercial project, very in keeping with the changing Midtown landscape.
  • Finbomb Sushi Burrito and Poke Bar is coming to the old Aces Tattoo space at 681 (677) SVA.
  • Need to book a room after your bocce binge?  RRenaissance Reno Hotel is accepting reservations for 10 April.  Rates look about 20% above the Marriott Courtyard by the ball park, which doesn’t have trout painted on the ceiling.

North Valleys

Of the 30 some thousand new housing units we are projected to need over the next 20 years, the vast majority will be build in the North Valleys.  There is a Special Session of the Reno City Council at 6 PM Tuesday to start the discussion on what the impacts will be.  Go in person, watch on Charter channel 194, or watch online.  This is an important meeting.

Where is development already approved or pending?  Check out this MAP from the Regional Planning agency.  Then imagine the Spaghetti Bowl at 8 AM in 2 years until RTC and NDOT catch up.  Kids bussed to the nearest available schools with capacity.

Welcome to the boom town.

Downtown Dirt

italian-capThe tea leaves were right – the Standard@Reno student/housing (they never confirmed their intent) project is dead, and the site is on the market.  At $80/SF raw land cost!  That’s a cool $9.6M for a 2.75 acre blighted city block.  The Tessera properties must be worth DOUBLE that.

The W 2nd Street District has picked up their permit for their initial 28 unit condo project at 235 Ralston, and admitted that they are pursuing 2 avenues of funding when they addresses the RAAB (Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board) yesterday.  You don’t pick up a permit unless you are pretty close to funding, but it is generally a requirement by the lender.  This one is a little lest costly because the sewer connection fees are being deferred until Certificate of Occupancy.  In a blow to the District, 3 more parcels seem out of the developer’s hands.  The 7-11 Motel sold, and The Siegel Group is marketing their 2 vacant lots on 2nd Street as Build To Suit (“Great Location for Franchise” – they really don’t get Reno yet, do they?).  I have no indication that Reno is warming to selling their parking lot or abandoning Stevenson and Church Streets for this project (maintaining the Urban Grid is a core value), and I’ll believe the purchase of the UNR Nelson property for $7M when it records.  In blue, the properties owned.  In red, the properties that seem out of play now.

Casket Truck stuck at Sierra Canyon in the last storms.  No comment – it would be shooting fish in a barrel.



Smaller Stuff

  • 214 Lake Street is the 17,206 SF parking lot on the corner of 2nd and Lake, kitty corner from our newest hash house.  Purchased for $1,365,000 by Lake Street Property LLC, whose address happens to be the Aces Ballpark.  This makes me think that Simon Properties may be about ready to fire on their Truckee River parcel just to the south at 1st and Lake.
  • Remember the game changing Standard@Reno student housing project that was going to single-handedly rejuvenate Downtown?  Home Depot quality For Sale signs have now been posted on the property.
  • If the West 2nd Street District is about ready to release “ground breaking news”, why are they 2 months late repaying their $55,000+ sewer lean on the Town House Motel?
  • The Wells District has proposed new parking non-requirements to match Midtown.  No parking will be required for bars, restaurants and retail establishments.  Go to page 16 for the specifics.  I generally support this change to get Wells out of its ugly sister position when competing with Midtown.  Cafe Deluxe was erased due to parking requirements.  The huge danger to the City is opening up the Neighborhood Plan for parking revisions without addressing the Residential sections.  I suspect the developers will not support this without a sensible reduction in Residential parking requirements.  All the City has to do is agree to round down on parking requirements (as Sparks has codified).  Their current policy to round-up makes urban residence actually have higher parking requirements than Somersett!
  • TCA is once again starting to terra forming their property at Robb and 80.