New apartments on horizon at former Wildflower Village | nnbw.com

New apartments on horizon at former Wildflower Village

Duane Johnson | djohnson@nnbw.biz

The Wildflower Village property in northwest Reno was razed last week to make way for a new multifamily housing complex.

From the rubble will come a 164-unit yet-to-be-named apartment complex to be built on the eight-acre site, located near the South McCarran Boulevard and Fourth Street intersection.

The new apartments are being created by S3 Development Co., led by Blake Smith of Reno, along with a group of local investors.

Smith said the new community will feature one- two- and three-bedroom units. Other amenities are still in the planning stages and have yet to be finalized. The size of each apartment will range around 1,000 square feet per unit.

"It will be a highly-amenitized, mid-market product here," Smith said during an onsite media event that signaled the beginning of the new project. "They will be a three-story, garden-style apartments, but all the amenities are being designed right now."

S3 Development purchased the property from Pat Campbell-Cozzi, who had developed Wildflower Village into a once lively cultural center that included an art gallery, gift shop, hotel and hostel. The old motel property has been completely vacant for about six months.

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"We developed the Somersett project (in northwest Reno) so this side of town means a lot to us," Smith said. "We were looking for opportunities and came to terms with Pat. She owned it for decades and did a wonderful job with it, but it had reached its time."

Smith explained it has taken a few months just to gut the property and a few more weeks to demolish the old structure. The next step is to go through the permitting process. He is anticipating getting construction under way by November or December.

"These buildings were built in the 1950s and 1960s, so we've taken a few months to get asbestos out," Smith said. "Construction costs are also continuing to go up and we want to get this project going as soon as we can."

For more information about the dangers of asbestos, click here.

Pacific West Companies of Reno will be the general contractor on the apartment project while Diversified Demolition Company, with an office in Sparks, is handling the demolition of Wildflower Village.

The project is also a step in the Reno City Council's "Blight Buster" initiative aimed at eliminating similar eyesores around the community.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve was on hand at the ceremony and assured other "Blight Buster" projects will come at a fast pace in the coming months.

"This initiative is really critical to the council to eradicate blight all over our city," Schieve said. While we've focused a lot on downtown, this project exemplifies other areas of town that are concerning to us. Wildflower used to be cool and eclectic, but unfortunately people started to vandalize and it became an area crime was attracted to, so we wanted to get on top of it as soon as possible."

She emphasized the Wildflower and all other "blight" projects would be privately funded and not at the expense of taxpayers.

"These private initiatives are tremendous throughout the city," Schieve said. "Reno is going through a revival, and with that momentum people can expect to see projects like this over the next several weeks and months."

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