Study: Carson hotel feasible; offices and residential aren't

Development of a hotel and convention center in downtown Carson City may make sense as the cornerstone of an ambitious proposal to change the face of the neighborhood north of the State Capitol complex.

But a consulting firm that prepared a feasibility study of the proposal says two other proposed cornerstones of the project residential development and an office building that would be leased to state agencies don't appear to make sense in the current market.

The residential portion of the project would be swimming upstream against large inventories of homes already on the market, said analysts from P3 Development Inc. of Sacramento.

The state government, meanwhile, isn't interested in negotiating for space in a new office building, reported the analysis delivered to Carson City officials last week.

Feasibility of the proposed hotel and convention center, the analysis found, would require the willingness of a private hotel developer to make a commitment to the project, said P3 Development.

The downtown Carson City project has been envisioned as a public-private partnership whose keystone would be a 52,500-square-foot Knowledge and Discovery Center.

Two office buildings one of 65,000 square feet, the other with 50,000 square feet also are proposed. Both buildings would include retail space.

One of the office buildings is proposed as the home of a business incubator, and the P3 analysis found that building appears to be feasible even if the state doesn't lease space in the project.

Preliminary plans call for the hotel to include 125 rooms and about 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

The project carries a price tag of $87.3 million $56.4 million in private investment and $30.9 million in public money. The feasibility analysis estimates that the project would create more than 525 construction jobs during a development schedule that would cover nearly three years.

The land currently is owned by the Carson Nugget casino.

Assuming that the redevelopment plan is approved by the city, the casino would deed the land to the Hop and Mae B. Adams Foundation, established by the now-deceased owners of the Nugget.

P3 Development said the financial arrangements would work like this:

* The project developer would lease the land from the foundation and build it for a guaranteed price.

* The public portion of the project the Knowledge and Discovery Center, for instance would be leased to the city government.

* The city government would make annual lease payments and acquire the project at the end of the lease.

The P3 analysts noted that numerous details need to be worked out and will depend on shifting conditions in the financial markets.

An advisory committee established by the city government is scheduled to spend two hours tonight in discussion of the feasibility study.


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