GuiDenby starts renovation of blighted apartments |

GuiDenby starts renovation of blighted apartments

John Seelmeyer

Everyone who watches those home-remodeling shows on cable knows all about Robb Gui Wong’s worries as his GuiDenby Inc. begins renovation of a ramshackle apartment complex in Sparks.

“It’s always what you don’t know that’s a problem,” says Wong as he leads visitors through one of the 16 units scheduled for renovation in the next six to eight months.

There’s plenty of potential for surprises in the job that GuiDenby is handling under contract with the nonprofit Northern Nevada Community Housing Resource Board.

When the 11,520-square-foot complex at 2555 D St. was listed for sale earlier this year, some skillful writer of marketing copy noted that it is “close to freeways.”

So close, in fact, that the complex backs up to the sound wall along the exit from westbound Interstate 80 onto Interstate 580.

The Community Housing Resource Board bought the blighted property in late summer. When the renovation is finished, the complex will be rented to low-income renters, including eight with special needs.

Total cost of the project — acquisition and renovation — is estimated by the housing board at $1.38 million.

Wells Fargo provided a boost to the project last week with a $50,000 donation to the Housing Resource Board, part of the bank’s focus on creation of affordable housing in the region.

Sean French, Wells Fargo community bank area president for northern Nevada, said the bank hopes the renovated complex — which the housing resource board has dubbed “Maple Leaves” — will help stabilize the surrounding neighborhood.

The stabilization begins with the work to be completed by GuiDenby Inc.

Each of the units, Wong says, will receive a full cosmetic makeover — new carpets, new windows, new doors, new appliances, fresh paint. Improved energy efficiency in the complex built in 1978 will be an important part of the work.

Exterior work will range from new landscaping and fencing to repair of sidewalks and installation of new lighting.

While many of the units are vacant, Wong says existing tenants will be moved into renovated units as they’re completed.

Paul Cavin of Sparks is the project architect.


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