- Our winner this week is the W 2nd Street District. With a land acquisition budget of $35/SF, they have an “agreement” to buy the UNR parcel at 3X that. The Reno RDA parcel next door just jumped to $4M+ based on the comp, and everyone else in the “district” will now be holding out for $100/SF+ for land. This would just be a comical developer snafu except it has changed ALL the expectations on property value in the downtown core to unsustainable heights. Nothing will get done as the owners hold out for values that can never be economically achieved. Instead of invigorating downtown, W 2nd is killing it.
- Shit Costs Money -Kudos to Kelly Rae for going after the Sewer Connection Fee system imposed by COR. A new studio in Midtown is charged the same $6300+ fee as a 9000 SF ArrowCreek mansion. They are also charged +/- the same RTC Traffic Impact Fees at the same $4240 rate per unit. Fees for a small infill project = about 15% of construction cost. Fees for a new custom home = about 2% of construction cost. The system is broken if you assume the goal is to encourage urban infill and affordable housing. As Dad always said, “Assume” is Ass out of You and Me.
- 601 E 4th Street – The Anchor Auctions building and surrounding properties at 601 E 4th Street just listed for $4.1M. That’s pretty pricey for the E 4th Street corridor – $50/SF land cost. But I’m a believer that E 4th will rapidly surpass Midtown as Reno’s entertainment hub. Midtown is becoming far to genteel, and E 4th offers some pretty cool large spaces at more reasonable rents.
- TXT17-00003 – Just starting to wend its way through Planning, this is an internally generated text amendment that relates to amending parking standards in the Wells district. I’m presuming that parking requirements for restaurants, bars and retail establishments will be changed to match Midtown = 0. This will be a boon for Wells Avenue merchants, whose district has been slow to redevelop partially due to the parking requirements. I’m not sure how the Bungalow Huggers are going to react to the proposal, especially given that the proposed text amendment will open up discussion of residential parking standards in all of WANP. Currently, a 4 unit condo or rental project consisting of 2 bedroom units requires 5 parking spaces, 3 or more off-street and up to 2 on street. The EXACT same project designed as individual units for sale requires 8 parking spaces – accidental social engineering that is diminishing the availability and affordability of entry level housing to purchase. Stay tuned – this will be an interesting if arcane issue to follow, with a couple of council persons doing a bit of sweating out the decision.