Redeveloping Park Lane
The purchase of Park Lane Mall comes on the heels of the Urban Land Institute presentation, sponsored by the City of Reno, which focused on the Virginia Street corridor and highlighted the property as one of the key opportunities within the city. Suggestions in the past included a strip mall for fast food restaurants. The panel urged Reno not to make Park Lane into just another strip mall, but rather a space that people will want to gather. The panelists recommended urban walkable mixed-use development including retail, apartments, parking and green space.
“What we heard from the Urban Land Institute is that Reno is on the cusp of not just being good, but great,” said Chip Bowlby, managing partner of Reno Urban Developers in a press release. “The Park Lane Mall property will be a key part of Reno reaching its ultimate potential by redeveloping an integral piece of Midtown, addressing the city’s housing shortage and becoming a hub of successful businesses.”
Reno Urban Developers is still in the early stages of planning for the property, but has preliminary concepts that include for-sale and for-rent housing, professional offices and medical and retail space.
Reno Urban Developers is a real estate company managed by long-time Reno resident Chip Bowlby that invests in Reno and the surrounding area.
The Park Lane Mall has sat as an almost abandoned dirt lot state since 2009 when the buildings were removed. Since then, the majority of the property has remained vacant. Prior to the agreement to sell to Reno Urban Developers LLC, the space was owned by Bay Area-based real estate developer, Merlone Geier (previously referred to as M&H Realty). The purchase price has not been disclosed.
Sitting at the intersection of two major streets, two big hotel casinos close by, the convention center and the growing MidTown District, makes the location unique. The initial vision for the property is a Millennial hub for Midtown, creating a place for young professionals to live, work and play within the Virginia Street corridor. The urban, mixed-use project will address Reno’s housing shortage, build a critical mass of retail, office and housing in the heart of Midtown, and solve a long-standing hole in the middle of the city.
“The redevelopment of the Park Lane Mall property has been a top priority for the City of Reno for nearly seven years,” said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve in a press release. “To see a locally managed firm step up with a vision for housing, retail and office space is great news for the city and its residents. The redevelopment of this critical piece of land can make a deep and lasting impact on the core of our city.”
Reno Urban Developers plans to begin development in early 2017. The company is planning a fully green project, using environmentally sensitive products and building techniques.
Bowlby is also involved in other Reno projects, including the 141-acre Rancharrah project, the Meridian 120 located near Boomtown, projects in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center and the Summit Club housing project in South Reno.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.