If you missed it, the 2 year struggle to approve the Meridian 120 S Villages 1-6 came to and end last week, with the City Council approving all of the requested Special Use Permits.  Meridian 120 S is part of the MGOD (Mortensen Garson Overlay District Area 3 along with the much larger proposed Santerra 1000 unit development.  Planning Area 1 is the 676 Unit Stan Lucas project adjacent to Somersett/Sierra Canyon that was recently rejected by the Council, but expect to see it return in some form or fashion in the near future.

Planning Area 2 of MGOD is Boomtown – the areas north of I-80 and south of the river.  880,000 SF of Frankenwarehouses have been built and successfully leased.  The Meridian 120 S residential project by Bates Stringer (Argos/Quest) has received tepid at best market acceptance, the Phase 2 is being marketed for sale.  But all seemed calm in the rest of Planning Area 2 until Boomtown filed an application  for Verdi Crossing, 20,000 SF of food/retail/office surrounding the existing Chevron station plus a 7500 SF casino.  The application states that the 26 acre truck stop site will not be utilized as a truck stop, and the gaming license will be transferred to the new facility.

While the focus has been on residential zoned projects in Planning Areas 1 and 3, the commercially zoned properties in Planning Area 2 of the most concern now that Boomtown is changing their development plans.  There can be about 75 acres of property zoned CC available to develop (excluding Verdi Crossing, including Boomtown, excess Cabela’s land, and Boomtown proper).  These lands can all be developed BY RIGHT to CC standards, which include unlimited residential density and 65′ maximum heights.

A standard 3 storey walk-up garden apartment complex maxes out at around 30 units per acre, allowing 2150 new units.  At the same density as Park Lane, maybe 3500 units would be possible.  I could easily bump density to 4000-5000 units by maximizing the allowable site improvements.  At the low end, development of the “Commercial” zoned properties (HC can be converted to AC by right) around Boomtown could at least DOUBLE the conceived allowable unit cap for MGOD by 100%.  Maybe double that.

We all took our eyes off the ball with the Meridian 120 S distractions, and assumed Boomtown and Planning Area 2 were stable.  They are not.

Amending MGOD