Reno Land Inc.'s Joel Grace and Tom Merschel depart firm to form new company

Tom Merschel, left, and Joel Grace.

Tom Merschel, left, and Joel Grace.

RENO, Nev. — Two Reno development executives are leaving a major development company and building a new firm in the Biggest Little City.

Joel Grace and Tom Merschel, who were previously at Reno Land Inc. as COO and CEO, respectively, have officially launched ARC Development Group.

In an interview with the NNBW, Grace said the new company is establishing itself as an all-encompassing developer, focusing on mixed-use and residential properties that cater to all Northern Nevadans.

“Our mission is to be able to provide good quality projects, plain and simple,” Grace said. “And being able to hit every portion of the development spectrum — the multi-family (housing) side of things, the retail side of things, and the industrial office.”

Grace said the company will also have the ability to develop for-sale residential or for-sale office products. This, he said, will enable ARC Development to compete with “big national companies” that come into Northern Nevada to develop for-sale products.

“Somebody coming in from outside the area, they don’t want to set up an office for one project of 50-60 units because there’s a lot of overhead that goes into that,” Grace explained. “We already have the staff that are experienced in that realm. We want to be able to compete with some of those guys on some of the smaller projects and also some of the larger projects.

“We just want to be nimble enough to where we can take on projects that are 500 acres or if it’s 60 units in an urban environment, we can take that on as well.”

Grace said he and Merschel share a similar philosophy when it comes to housing and want to develop homes for all income levels, from high-end units and custom homes to starter homes and multi-family units for first-time renters.

Notably, the median sales price for an existing single-family home in Reno alone was a record $500,000 in December, according to the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors.

“We’re trying to look at smarter building solutions, faster-to-market scenarios, where it makes sense for our investors,” Grace said. “Just because it might not cost as much, it doesn’t mean the quality is any different. We have that philosophy that everything we touch, we want people in any level of their life to say, this is a good quality project.”

The two former Reno Land Inc. executives are still working on behalf of Reno Land to finish up projects they “had in tow” when they decided to form the new company, Grace said.

These projects, he said, include The Park at McCarran, the 1.13 million-square-foot industrial and retail park planned for 60 acres on former University of Nevada, Reno farmland, as well as updated development plans for the former Lakeridge Tennis Club site in South Reno.

“We’ll remain involved in keeping our responsibilities and will continue to manage and work on behalf of the investors and ownership groups of those properties,” Grace said.

ARC Development Group currently consists of 10 employees, he added. As of mid-January, the new company has yet to announce any projects.

“We have a strong team, and we’re excited to be part of Reno’s growth and future in a responsible way,” Grace said. “And we look forward to contributing to the community and we’re looking forward to a healthy 2021 and onward.”


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