RENO, Nev. — At long last, redevelopment construction is underway at the site of the former Park Lane Mall.
Nearly a decade after wrecking balls ripped through the remnants of the former shopping center built in 1964, joint developers Reno Land Inc. and Lyon Living of Newport Beach are coming out of the ground with the first phase of their ambitious redevelopment project for the 46-acre site.
Construction started in late January on the foundation and first level of a 4.5-story, 316-space parking garage that eventually will be wrapped by a 281-unit multi-level apartment building.
Construction for the apartments that will completely hide the parking garage structure starts in June, says Nate Johnson, senior vice president of development for Lyon Living.
Simultaneously, construction is expected to begin early this summer on the second part of Phase 1 – three separate apartment buildings alongside Grove Street. One building will be four stories and the other two five stories with a total of 340 new apartment doors added to the region's growing multi-family product offerings. The 621 total apartment units are expected to come online in late 2020.
Crews also are working to complete all the necessary underground infrastructure throughout the project footprint and for its primary central park component, says Joel Grace, vice president of development for Reno Land.
Phase 2 is deep into the design stages as well. It's composed of the largest apartment building in the whole project footprint, a multi-level building that will add yet another 360 apartment homes. Other primary components of the second phase include a 170-room hotel and a market hall in the center of the master-planned project.
The hotel will boast the boutique Marriott Element flag, while the market hall will be flexible space housing various retail shops and eateries. The form and structure of the market hall concept is of utmost importance since the space will be the heartbeat of the entire project, Grace says.
“Because of its location and prominence in the site, we are really trying to design something special from an architectural perspective,” Grace says.
A host of architectural and design firms from Northern Nevada and Southern California are designing the second phase of the master plan. Neeser Construction of Anchorage is building the parking garage and wrap-style apartment building, while Whiting Turner of Baltimore will construct the apartment buildings fronting Grove Street. Although both general contractors are headquartered outside of Nevada, each has regional offices in the Silver State.
As Northern Nevada shakes off the effects of yet another incredible winter and enters peak construction season, it's imperative that workflow on the Park Lane project moves forward at a consistent clip, Grace says. Despite the tight regional market for skilled trade workers, the general contractors and subcontractors benefit from the project's sheer scale, he adds.
“There will be challenges as we move forward, but we are in a pretty good position,” Grace says. “We will have crews on site for quite a few years, so we are in good shape relative to the market.”
Construction flow is especially important for a large master-planned development project such as Park Lane, Johnson adds.
“We are giving general contractors and their subs consistent work. We are coming out of the ground with 621 apartment units closely followed by a hotel and the next 360 units,” he says. “We want to keep that consistent flow. Our agreement with our general contractors is to be building on this site for the next five years and really get into a great rhythm.
“We are trying to align everything so that in a perfect world they will go from one building to the next.”
Reno Land and Lyon Living joined forces last year to bring the massive Park Lane master-planned redevelopment project to fruition. Lyon Living specializes in ground-up development of mixed-use projects, especially those with multi-family, retail and hotel components – all of which are in the Park Lane master plan.
“For us, it was really important we all come together and understand the shared vision,” Johnson says. “Park Lane Mall was a hub for this community, and we are trying to replicate that with a completely different commercial real estate solution.
“Reno Land has mapped out an amazing project and started the infrastructure, so we looked to enhance it and bring in our expertise and the successes we have had (with similar projects) and implement those on this project.”
Grace says the new hotel, market hall, retail and residential components offer something for everyone and are expected to return the Park Lane site back to its former prominence among residents and visitors to the Truckee Meadows.
“This is essentially the 50-yard line of the City of Reno, and it's exactly the type of development the city wants for the urban core,” Grace says. “It is a very convenient location not just for residents that are there but for the community as a whole.”