VIDEO: Northern Nevada leaders celebrate arrival of units for Village on Sage Street housing project |

VIDEO: Northern Nevada leaders celebrate arrival of units for Village on Sage Street housing project

Reno developer Par Tolles, one of the visionaries behind the project, talks about its inception during a press conference on Sept. 6, 2018.
Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel

On a sun-soaked Thursday morning, community leaders were all smiles as they celebrated the arrival of the dorm units for the Village on Sage Street housing project in the heart of Reno.

The 200 low-income housing units, located at the corners of Fourth and Sage streets, are on track to open in late November, the project leaders announced Thursday, Sept. 6.

During the next two months, nine semi-trucks will shuttle from central Wyoming to Northern Nevada to deliver the units, which formerly housed gas and oil workers in Big Piney, Wyoming.

All told, the $8.3 million project is nearing completion in just over six months from its inception.

“This has been a really great labor of love,” said Reno developer Par Tolles, who helped spearhead the project. “From February to now, we’ve assembled this tribe of people, from developers to contractors to volunteers … I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a project like this, where people aren’t getting paid and they’re just doing it because they love Reno and they want to make a difference. I’ve never seen people get so excited about making an impact quickly.”

Chris Askin, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, said the growing need for housing in Reno fueled the project’s collaborative effort.

“That is the driving force, the people who need this,” Askin said. “And we need more than just 200 units, but this is hundreds, not dozens, and that’s a great start.

“At the Community Foundation, we’re all about action,” he continued. “We felt that there had been enough talk and we wanted to do something — but now, not three years from now.

With rents projected to be $400 per month, the Village at Sage Street is designed for working individuals 18 years and older making between $1,300 and $3,000 a month.

The 90-square-foot rooms will be single-occupancy and include a bed, closet, desk and flat screen TV. Residents will use shared restrooms and a shared 4,000-square-foot kitchen facility.

“There’s a whole community out there that are at minimum wage that this facility can work for,” said Leo McFarland, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Northern Nevada, which will manage the facility. “We know this will become a community of 200 individuals who will be there to support each other and support this community.

“It’s an experiment. It’s an experiment that other communities are looking at very closely, and having conversations all over the West Coast about what’s happening up here in Reno.”

According to the Community Foundation, the project has received $5.8 million in funding in a two-month span. However, the project still needs $2.5 million more in contributions.

To donate to the project, click here.

To apply for the $400 per month units, click here.