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Students propose designs for Mapes site

NNBW Staff

If Spencer Cody had his way, the site of the former Mapes Hotel would be noteworthy for a sunburst pattern of landscaping that drew pedestrians to the nearby Truckee River.

Kevin Liller, meanwhile, envisions a retail and restaurant complex surrounding a performing arts stage in the summer and an ice rink in the winter.

The visions of Liller and Cody are proposals for the Mapes property from secondyear architectural students at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Their teacher, Ric Licata, hopes the City Council will hear a presentation about the proposals.

Licata said the students’ proposals centered on several themes:

* Multi-use structures, most of them with space for retail, a restaurant with outdoor dining and either a sports bar or a pub with billiards.

* Open space fronting the river.

* Fountains or other landscape elements incorporating water.

Liller said his proposal a mixeduse facility incorporating retail, restaurants and an open plaza is intended to serve the demographics of the downtown residential neighborhoods.

Cody, meanwhile, said he views the Mapes site as a rare opportunity for Reno to develop an urban plaza.

“It seems like a place where people could come and enjoy the river,” he said.

The design he developed incorporates restaurant and retail space, and its highlight is a pattern of landscaping designed to pull people from nearby sidewalks into the plaza with seating areas.

Along with the Mapes site, TMCC architectural students in recent weeks proposed designs for a homeless shelter on East Fourth Street.

One of those designs, a university-style quadrant, called for use of wind and solar power.

Professional architects and landscape architects judge the student designs.