Rancharrah sale closes escrow
The sale of the Harrah family estate — Rancharrah — closed escrow last week, paving the way for locally owned Reno Land Development Company to move forward with its plans to develop the property.
After months of planning and review, the closing completes a complex deal managed by Bryan Drakulich of DoMore Real Estate.
“This closing represents a unique synergy between the community, the buyer and seller who all worked diligently to get this deal done,” said Drakulich of the transaction, which “is in excess of $40 million.”
Reno Land Company received community input into its design plans over the past year and the Reno-based developer says with the purchase it intends to preserve the ranch’s unique heritage.
In July, community development plans were unanimously approved by the Reno Planning Commission, Reno City Council and the Regional Planning Commission — leaving the final closing of the sale as the last step of bringing the master-planned vision to a reality. Construction is scheduled to begin spring of 2016.
“From the start, we recognized the historic nature of Rancharrah,” said Chuck Reeves, partner and spokesman of Reno Land Development Company. “We understood its identity and its unique connection to the community and neighborhood, which is why we invited community input on our design concepts and development plans. We are excited to start the process of bringing this master-planned development to full fruition, where it will be a tremendous place for Reno families to live.”
With a 141 total acres of approved development, land plans call for 117 acres to be dedicated to residential (691 lots) and 25 acres designated to commercial/office/medical and retail uses. Thirty percent or approximately 43 acres has been dedicated to landscaped open space. A linear park connecting Wheatland Park to Del Monte Lane will feature a pedestrian trail with exercise equipment nodes. Reeves, a former lawyer, worked for many years creating master-planned and gated communities for Nicklaus Design. In an earlier interview with the NNBW, Reeves said he planned to move from his home in northern Idaho to Reno to better manage development of the property — and that’s no small task.
The massive infill project is located near Reno’s retail heart and dozens of busy medical office buildings. The heart of Rancharrah includes a 25,000-square-foot mansion that’s often used for weddings and special events, a 52,000-square-foot climate-controlled equestrian center and acres of serene pastureland.
The property had been listed for more than a year by Bryan Drakulich of DoMore Real Estate of Sparks. Conversations about buying the property first cropped up in the summer of 2014.
Reno Land Development Company will be the master developer and put in all the backbone infrastructure, landscaping, trail systems and other amenities and sell off finished lots to prospective builders. It also may erect some product, Reeves noted.
Development isn’t expected to start until 2016. RLDC said it had retained Wood Rogers for preliminary engineering services, and Jacobsen/Daniels Associates of Sacramento had been hired for land-planning services.
Reno Land Development Company — a group of five partners with backgrounds in homebuilding and real estate development — is funding the acquisition of Rancharrah and all the engineering and infrastructure work necessary to bring the planned community online.
Drakulich said Rancharrah drew more than 15 offers from around the country, though some were for individual parcels rather than the whole package.
In the end, Drakulich said, Rancharrah owner John Harrah went with Reno Land Development Company primarily because of its successful track record of developing high-end master-planned communities.
“Rancharrah has become an important part of my family’s legacy, my legacy,” said John Harrah in a prepared statement. “I am confident and secure in knowing that those at Reno Land Development Company will build upon all that I imagined and worked toward in bringing Reno a spectacular and memorable community setting. I believe Rancharrah will be further established as a Reno icon — one in which the city and its residents can be proud.”
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