Some strange and interesting listings crossed my radar this week:

–  598 Plumb is a compound of 3 SFRs.  It was purchase for $690,000 in May 2004.  The Trustee’s Deed was filed last week showing $710K owing, and opening bid of $198K, and a winning bid of $286,000.  If it sells anywhere the listing price of $450,000, someone made a pretty sweet deal.  The TD hasn’t recorded yet, so I don’t know who the investor is, but it doesn’t meet the NRES MO.

–  11530 Arid Plains is called a “cute 4 bed, 2 bath” in the listing remarks.  I might have been tempted to add “fresh interior paint”.  Can anyone here translate from Tag?  This was $299K in May 2006.

–  16475 Bordeaux is the Montreux Welcome Center, accessed by the general public from just outside the pearly gates of the development.  It was purchased for $2.2M in July 2004 with a $1,540,000 loan, and refied in March 2006 for $1,490,000, and leased back to the developer.  It is listed at $1,575,000 as a short sale, though unless the owner has stopped payments and the bank hasn’t filed a NOD yet, it is barely short.  The listing notes that it will take $180K to reconvert this back into a SFR, and that property taxes are over $15K per year (all current).  For reference, the most current Montreux comp is 5635 Alpinista – sold new for $1,870,000 in November 2007, and closed a few days ago for $1,050,000.

–  Not a listing, but a commercial property auction result that serves as a nice coda to my Western Gateway post.  Remember the Backstop Bar and Grille?  The best French fries I’ve ever eaten.  It was a steakhouse on one side and a sports bar on the other, though I don’t know if the upscale part ever opened. $1.3M construction loan in 1999, never refinanced.  They finally gave up in April 2009, went TD, and the building just went to auction with a minimum bid of $200K as I recall.  It just sold for $291,500 and there is already some work going on.  The partners are William Wager – dentist, Patrea Wagner – occupational therapist, John Christensen – contractor, and Terry Christensen – Realtor (and one of the good ones).  I wonder what the plans are?  When I peeked in a couple months ago, it looked like there may have been a flood – the bottom couple feet of sheet rock had been removed.  When Backstop closed up, they left the full bar intact!  I haven’t disclosed to keep the squatters out.

OK, Grand Wazoo asked for my comments on the downtown train trench bond issue addressed in the RGJ today.  It isn’t really a problem yet since 4th quarter sales tax revenues aren’t in yet – if y’all shopped locally instead of online for Christmas this year, the whole issue may fade away!  The 2% annual city increase in sales tax revenue that the bonds were based on really wasn’t out of line based on historic trends.  So why bring this up now – the 3rd quarter results were available before the elections?  OOPs, maybe answered my own question.  Remember, the trench came in on time and under budget – the savings were spent on the 2 block trench cover.

I think the real reason this came out now is to prep everyone for the City Council meeting this week – the Fitzgerald’s Garage Revenue Bond issues are going to be discussed.  This one is a real cluster fuck, and Reno is going to lose about $4M before it the dust settles.  2 months ago, the sale of the ground lease on the garage to Reno Parking LLC (Leal) was on the RDA agenda before being pulled ($2.5M?).  The chain of “ownership” is really complicated, so here is the actual agenda item:  Staff Report: Discussion and possible direction to the City Attorney’s Office to take whatever legal action may be required to terminate and collect the overdue rents on the Ground Lease dated March 1, 1978 between Southern Pacific Transportation Company and Donald L. Wilkerson, as amended by the Amended Ground Lease and Signage Agreement dated January 31, 2007 between the City, Fitzgerald’s Reno, Inc., as ground lessee and Fitzgerald’s Gaming Corporation, as guarantor, as amended, assigned to and assumed by Fitzgerald Virginia and Plaza LLC, as ground lessee and DRW Real Estate Ventures, LLC, as guarantor pursuant to the Assignment and Assumption Agreement, dated October 31, 2007, by and between Fitzgeralds Reno, Inc., Fitzgeralds Gaming Corporation, DRW, Fitzgerald Virginia and Plaza LLC, the City and the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Reno.  So instead of selling Nando the ground lease, it looks like they now want to sue him for back rent.  I’ve heard that some of the permits for the New Fitz have been filed with Community Development already, and some construction is definitely already going on.  Is Reno going to try to blackmail Nando – back rent for permits – on a project that downtown desperately needs?  Should be an interesting meeting!