Carson City is once again trying to spur redevelopment of the former armory site on South Carson Street.
The city is talking to Nevada Division of State Lands, which owns the property, about putting the roughly 14 acres on the market so it can be commercially developed.
“We believe that it’s a blighted property on a major commercial corridor and we believe the commercial real estate market is strong right now, so if the state was contemplating divesting, this would be the most beneficial time to do it,” said Carson City Manager Nick Marano. “They would get very good value.”
One option being discussed is a kind of land swap in which the city would give to the state city-owned land that suits the state’s needs. In exchange, State Lands would sell the armory site for commercial use.
While the city would be giving up property, it would be to Carson City’s advantage, said Marano.
“We want to see beneficial use of that property,” said Marano. “It would add to the city tax rolls and create jobs.”
The Nevada Department of Public Safety has been hoping to use the former armory site for its offices, according to Charles Donohue, administrator, State Lands.
“We don’t have a ton of land. Having the ground to build on is critical for us,” Donohue said. “But we’re always open to exploring opportunities.”
The city is looking for several suitable sites to propose.
“At this point we’re in preliminary discussions,” Donohue said. “We’re waiting to find out.”
Donohue said access would be the main issue for an alternative site as the armory is ideally located for DPS’s purposes.
The discussions between the city and State Lands started with the frontage road there, which the city needs to build a multi-use path as part of its project to redo South Carson Street. The city has acquired all of the frontage road now through the Nevada Department of Transportation.
This is not the first time Carson City has pursued developing the old armory site.
The Nevada National Guard first started work on the property in 1959 and in 1975 built the main building, one of 26 structures eventually put there.
In 2002, the guard moved out and in 2005 the city asked State Lands about acquiring the property, but was told it was not for sale.
In 2008, demolition of the site began and it has been vacant since.