Pedestrian-friendly redevelopment planned at Park Lane site |

Pedestrian-friendly redevelopment planned at Park Lane site

Special to NNBW

Plans for a pedestrian-friendly mix of housing, restaurants, shops and offices were unveiled Wednesday by the team that will redevelop the former site of Park Lane Mall.

“We recognize that this is an important location, a gateway to Reno as well the southern anchor of Midtown,” said Chip Bowlby, President and CEO of Reno Land, Inc. “We have taken great care to develop a plan that delivers on the community’s vision to bring fresh life to this site.” It is all about live, work, play.

The plan unveiled to the Reno City Council calls for work to begin next spring on the first phase, which includes two distinct neighborhoods with 725 total residential units. The buildings would include five-story wrap structures as well as urban-garden apartments. Homes would range from studios to three-bedroom units.

That first phase would be followed by construction of 110,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 100,000 square feet of offices and another 510 five story wrap units. All the buildings will be framed within extensive landscaping and green spaces.

“We have designed a community that is walkable, transit-friendly and sustainable,” said Rick Emsiek, president and chief operating officer of MVE+Partners, the influential and award-winning architectural firm that created the design for the former Park Lane site. “We have taken many steps to create gathering spots within this new community, and we have designed the project to encourage residents to engage with their neighborhood in their work and their lives.”

Earlier, now-discarded plans for the site ranged from a garish casino dubbed “Jethro’s Hillbillies” to a collection of big-box retailers that would have been surrounded by more than 1,800 surface parking spaces.

Andy Durling, a principal in the planning and engineering firm of Wood Rodgers, noted that the new neighborhood would represent one of the largest infill redevelopment project in the history of Reno.

The redevelopment includes challenges that a suburban development on raw land wouldn’t normally face.

Large storm-water and sewer lines that serve much of southwest Reno and Midtown cut across the Park Lane property. They must be moved, Durling said, to allow the pedestrian-friendly development that brings new life to South Virginia Street and Plumb Lane. That style of development on the property has been a goal of the city government as well as the Urban Land Institute, which completed a study of the South Virginia Street corridor this spring.

Construction is projected to generate about 3,200 jobs, and the project will generate more than 700 permanent jobs.

Durling said the project is estimated to generate more than $25 million in sales tax revenues for the City and Washoe County School District over the next 20 years.

Another $77 million in property tax would be generated by the property. That includes more than $63 million that would be generated for one of Reno’s two redevelopment districts. That money would be available for improvements that would encourage other redevelopment and beautification projects in the city.

Total development fees associated with the project are estimated at $16.2 million.

Park Lane Associates, LLC completed its purchase of the 46-acre property on Sept. 22, 2016.

Bowlby said Reno Land Inc. has been working with adjacent property owners as it creates its plans for the site.

For more details check out the Oct. 17 edition of the NNBW.