TesseraStripedMale5monthsThere has been a lot of static in the air the last couple of weeks about the Tessera project.  This project was designed to re-imagine Reno’s downtown core east of North Virginia Street from 5th to the freeway.  It got authorized for STAR bonds financing by the state / city council in late 2009, and gained additional notoriety when it landed the Apple administrative / technical facility to support their data farm with $89K in tax breaks.  That facility was supposed to be open a year ago, and ground has not been broken yet.

HERE is the location of the Tessera project along with the major owners within the district.  Northern Nevada Urban Development and Urban Development are signatories on the agreements authorizing the District along with Millennium Properties who appear to be defunct.  They also control the Brown Nevada parcels.  The Besso (Reno Vulcanizing) property on NVA is excluded from the district because active retail is not allowed.

Property taxes, sewer fees, penalties and interest owing by the Tessera Developer on the parcels controlled.  Over 3 years of delinquencies:

Brown Nevada – $131,091.61

Urban Development – $31,481.57

NNUD – $110,351.87

Total – $272,925.05 (this includes 2013 property taxes that aren’t due yet, but that is a minor amount compared to the total due).  They are approaching SK Baseball as our biggest tax scofflaw.  Italian Capital and the other owners within the District are current on property taxes.

Tessera2Here is an image of what Tessera was supposed to be.  There used to be a really cool fly-through from first-tier Callison Architects showing the ridiculous development proposals , but it is long gone from the web.

OK, takeaways:

–  The Tessera Developers are well over $250K delinquent on property taxes and sewer fees due the city.

–  Their 20 year STAR bonds agreement is already into its 5th year with no action.  The legal life of the district is 20 years, so their ability to get reimbursed for improvements is already reduced by 20%, and that is a deal killer.

Sometimes you have to fail to succeed.  Look at the  Montage.  It is time for the City/County to move forward with delinquent tax liens/sales, or else the slum blighting northeast Downtown will exist forever.