Park Lane Pivots

After a couple year’s absence, Park Lane has updated their Web Site.

450 or so units are gone replace by the Tech Campus, 320,000 SF of office space in 4 buildings.  Meh, we are all working from home now and this is just the latest desperate act to save the project.  Is anyone clamoring for new office space at “market” rents?   Still, 800 or so upscale rental units to hit the market in 2021 which will destabilize the rental market.


Suspended Animation – Reno Market Report

So where are we?

– SFR sales are down, inventory down, median price steady.

– Multifamily sales are non existent, and offers have not closed.

– Commercial sales are non existent, and offers have been withdrawn.

Witching Hours:

    • 15 July – 2019 taxes due, as well as Q1 as Q2 quarterlies.  How many people deferred tax payment to make mortgage/ rent and will now be “owned” by the Government?
    • 1 August – Hiatus on collections expires.  What is the NOD level going to be?  I haven’t seen any specific data on late payments, but I do have confirmation on a significant increase in BPOs (Broker Price Opinions) from the lenders which suggest oh-uh.

Everyone is trying to feel normal right now, but it’s just not.  We are in inning 3.


Development is a Contact Sport

 San Lucas – 676 +/- units just west of Sierra Canyon/Somersett.  Reject unanimously by Reno’s Planning Commission and also on appeal to Reno City Council.  So it’s getting egal now with Reno and Stan Lucas both filing opening salvos.  The Planning Commission and Council both overturned Planning Staff’s recommendations.  Councilperson Jardon got vinctive which is out of character for her, and will be used against COR in the legal case.  This one has a good chance of being overturned by the courts.  Be that as it may, the project sucks.

  •  Lakeridge (former) Tennis Club –  Originally a zoning amendment to remove dated time share designations, Reno Land floated a proposal to save part of the club and build 200 new housing units for “upscale professionals”.  The motive was  very clear at the time – nuke Lakeridge – but Council bought off on it (as they should have, but don’t act shocked now Duerr).  The current proposal is for 300+ Active Senior Apartments and the tennis club is 70% demolished already base on a drive-by yesterday.  The SPR (Site Plan Review – Project Info/Attachments) was protested to the Hearing Examiner and was heard on 16 June 2020.  The results have not been released (I’ve viewed the video but the page has been moved), but whatever they are they will be appealed to Council and the submitted for judicial review.


  • Meridian 120 S – FINALLY approved by Council based on appeals by the UMVs (Unwashed Massed of Verdi), now heading for judicial review.  DOA in my opinion.

Why is every development project now a legal issue?


Stan Lucas sends request/demand for rehearing to Council, and it is agnedized for 22 July 2020.  I think it will be swatted away, but who knows?

Doc 1

Doc 2

Doc 3

The Future of MGOD

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


Mile’s End Lodge

And now for something completely different!  Tired of the rat race?  For the price of a Sierra Canyon SSB you can be Bob Newhart on the Loneliest  Highway in the World (actually, off it a bit!). (pictures might be working, so try

Video from 4 years ago:


Hey, why the hell not?

Ralston Street Abandonment

Jacobs Entertainment / Sands Casino has applied to have a block of Ralston Street Abandoned to help them complete their “Neon District”.  The full application is HERE (Record Info / Attachments).

This would benefit no one but Jacobs and is in complete disregard of Reno’s Master Plan policy to maintain the existing street grid pattern.

Interesting tidbit from the Justification – Sands plans to convert 173 of their hotel units into rentals, and 10% of all units they develop will be “affordable”, though affordable isn’t defined.

Enough is enough.

Verdi Crossing

Verdi Crossing is a proposed intensification of the Chevron parcel owned by Boomtown and located just west of the hotel/casino.  It includes moving the car wash, and building approximately 25,000 SF of new retail including a 7500 SF new freestanding casino with unlimited gaming.   More details are HERE, select Record Information / Attachments.

The gist of the Special Use Permit is to relocate the grandfathered Unlimited Gaming license from the proposed truck stop parcel located to the west of Cabela’s to this site to the east of Cabela’s.  The 24 acre truck stop site would be repurposed (the truck stop use is rather speciously deemed financial unfeasible due to Washoe gas taxes) for a more “productive” use like frankenwarehouses or apartments.

The proposed casino is the building on top to the north.  the new retail buildings are on the right to the east of the existing Chevron and its canopy.

Looks like a good project!  But this is from someone who has made far too many dinners from the rotisserie corn dogs at the mini-mart.

440 1/2 E 7th Street

I applaud some very creative thinking on this project (I ran it up the flagpole when the property/lot was for sale).  440.5 E 7th Street is a new infill duplex on a very difficult 28×50′ lot.

Zoning is DRRC Downtown Reno Regional Center  where single family detached residences are prohibited – 440.5 was considered a non-conforming preexisting condition.  Reno Zoning Code would not allow the wonderful existing SFR to be demolished and replaced with a new SFR. (440 E. 7th in front of this is also a non-conforming SFR that burned – they were allowed to rebuild due to a code technicality.  440.5 probably should have called in Tony the Torch!).  The owner went through permit hell, and is now approaching completion.  The Plan Check Comments from Building without guidance on how to correct issues resulted all overhangs being deleted – unintended consequences as usual.

I would have skinned this differently with a studio/1bedroom on the 1st Floor and functional 2/3 bedroom unit in the 2nd Floor, but that is without knowing the owner’s pro forma.

In any case, props to the developer for creative thinking and navigating the Permit and Planning mazes.  I hope the project makes them some money for their efforts.


The Pan-Galactic 3-Day Pass

This snippet from Vonnegut has been on my mind the last couple months.

I think small commercial renters are about to get their own Pan-Galactic 3 Day Passes.  Who would blame you for walking out of your new lease, and what sort of landlord would risk the bad publicity to sue you right now?  I see new retail projects like The Village at Rancharrah (SUP, Coffebar, Centro, Dorinda’s, Base Camp Pizza all show as “Leased” but have not submiited construction permits), Park Lane Retail (no tenants announced), 5th/Keystone (Starbucks, Cracker Barrel, and rumored Panera), and Reno Public Market aka Shopper’s Sqaure with no real tenants announced that will be impacted by tenant defections.  I expect 30-50% of shuttered Midtown retail to never open up again.  Bleak future for retail.

In my market sector which is primarily Urban Infill, I still have new projects coming in the door but they don’t make up for the projects that are going on hold or only progressing to a logical stopping point.

Stuff is still being listed on the MLS and LoopNet.  Well priced and well located properties are going into Contract rapidly, while crap listings linger.  I’ve seen a few “get out of Dodge” listings, but no spate of panic listings.

So what are you real estate professionals and dabblers seeing in real life?  Is this a good time to list properties?  Are home inspections “critical jobs”?  Are realtors critical or just one step closer to being technologied out?  I’m looking for voices from the field!

Farewell, Lakeridge Tennis Club

It is no secret that the Lakeridge Tennis Club has been in play for a couple years and that Chip Bowlby’s Reno Land has it tied up.  It is now proposed to be scraped in favor of a 340 unit active adult community (amenities do no include a tennis court!).  SPR FILING – on Record Info, open Attachments for the full filing.

At $44,000 per key (assuming the asking price) with asbestos laden presumably  demo ahead, this is really expensive dirt for that use.

Reno Land’s jenius is spinning their properties to gullible Funds and developers (Park Lane, Rancharrah, Meridian 120 S, where is 150 N Arlington?).  Drive the residential portion of Rancharrah next weekend  and bring along a barf bag or alternately a “chuck buc”.  $1M+ for these stucco shit boxes?  You will find very well paid shills walking their (rented?) horses around the development during showing hours!