In a rather contentious City Council / Redevelopment Agency meeting, the “sale” of the Fitzgerald’s Garage land lease to the parties that control CommRow (Don Wilson and Fernando Leal – Donando?) was approved.   The terms of the sale are contingent upon CommRow opening their first phase this Fall, and you can read more about it in the RGJ.  The article has a lot more information about the project than was revealed in the Council meeting (hotel not opening until April 2012), so it looks like Leal finally consented to be interviewed by Susan Voyles.

With all the dominoes in place, the CommRow gag order looks like it has been lifted by the developer, and project information is being posted at the CommRow Facebook page and at Downtown Makeover.

Here’s the first look at some of the garage improvements – skate and bicycle on the roof and zip lines across Virginia street to the ReTrak trench cover.

Click to see Supersized.

The Virgina Street entrance looks wide open, and I like the new openings and trellis on Commercial.  Restrooms are HUGE for the occupancy!

 No locker rooms or showers for the climbers?  They are going to smell pretty ripe on the Lido Deck after a 163 foot ascent!  I wish more windows would have been added to help with the cave feeling.

   I’m wondering how the rabbit warren of offices will be used.  I wish the signature resteraunt had its own restrooms.

So unless you were part of one of the focus groups, this is a first look at Phase 1 of CommRow.

There has been a lot of comments over at DTM that CommRow in itself might not be a large enough catalyst to jumpstart redevelopment of the casino core, and I tend to agree.  The addition of CommRow taking over the events programming over the trench will be a major plus if they pull it off.  I would really like to see the Eldorado do some work to open up their facility more to the trench cover, though much of their frontage is their loading docks.  Harrah’s is the wild card, and is really in a position to benefit from the activity created by the climbing wall.  I hope they take this opportunity to spruce up their plaza and create a nice area to view the climbers.  They could make a fortune with a paint ball franchise aimed at the climbers!