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City launches studies of redevelopment

NNBW Staff

Several areas primarily industrial, commercial and retail properties will be studied by the Reno Redevelopment Agency during the next few months to determine their potential for redevelopment.

The agency also will study the city’ s ability to secure the money to support economic development and redevelopment initiatives.

A resolution approved by the City Council authorizing the study does not propose expansion of the existing Reno Redevelopment District boundary, but seeks evaluation of several areas to identify potential redevelopment strategies and activities.

Depending on the results of the study for each area, the work could include formation of new redevelopment districts, development of key retail sites, incorporation of mixed use housingretail developments, main street and or corridor revitalization, formation of business improvement districts, redeveloping sites that associate with nearby landmarks such as the Truckee River or key projects that support employment and retail activities for surrounding residential areas, among many other options.

State law restricts redevelopment areas to 10 percent of the total assessed tax valuation for the city.

That stood at $5.1 billion as of March.

The existing Redevelopment District in the downtown area represents about 8 percent of the city’s total, or about $411 million assessed valuation, and the study areas about 3 percent or about $164 million.

However, the staff of the Redevelopment Agency anticipates changes in valuation figures for those areas after June 30.

Among the areas approved by the Reno City Council for the year-long study are:

* The area between U.S.

Highway 395, Moana Lane, Virginia Street and Peckham Lane.

* The area surrounding Park Lane Mall and the former Mark Twain Motel property near Plumb Lane and Virginia Street.

* Underutilized property near Boomtown on Interstate 80 * The south-downtown area that is outside the existing Reno Redevelopment District boundary.

That area includes land south of the Truckee River between Arlington Avenue and Sierra Street extending south the California Avenue, and a portion of Virginia street extending south to LaRue Street.

*Land that wraps around the existing redevelopment district and continues to the city limits east of the Interstate 80 and U.S.

Highway 395 interchange.

The area includes St.

Mary’s hospital to the west and extends across Interstate 80 to the University of Nevada, Reno and encompasses the Fourth Street corridor.

This is the largest area that will be studied.

A city spokesman said each of the areas that will be evaluated represents the potential for significant redevelopment either through proximity to regional centers, a strategic location as a gateway or corridor revitalization effort, or through the potential to accommodate housing and additional retail and commercial development in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Identified within the study areas are vacant, underutilized, underserved and obsolescent properties that have served as a barrier to private investment.

Funding options for consulting contracts for the study will come before the Reno City Council and the Redevelopment Agency Board at a future meeting.

About $215,000 will be needed for consulting contracts with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Reno, Keyser Marston Associates, Inc.

of San Francisco, and Meyers Nave of Oakland, California.

The consulting firms will assist with the study by providing technical, analytical and legal expertise during the study process.

The study is expected to be completed by mid-April 2005, and will involve analysis, meetings with various agency advisory boards, committees and other organizations, public information meetings and public hearings, review by the Reno Planning commission and Reno City Council, development and adoption of a redevelopment plan.


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