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Townhome project keys redevelopment effort

John Seelmeyer

The announcement of plans for 16 townhouse units usually isn’t enough to get the television crews out to a press conference.

But broadcast journalists set up shop late last week as Management Development Services unveiled a project that’s likely to be the first of several along the eastern edge of Reno’s redeveloping downtown.

The Reno-based development company will begin work any day now on its Townhouses @ Holcolmb Place and expects to have the units to market by the end of this year. The project is in the block bordered by Holcomb, Pine, River Rock and State streets.

Just a block to the north, meanwhile, Silver Star Communities is moving dirt on its Grant’s Landing residential project along the Truckee River next to the National Automotive Museum.

Ryder Homes is moving forward with a townhome project at Mill and Holcomb streets, and other retail and lodging projects in the area at the east edge of downtown are taking shape.

The biggest piece of all a 10,000-seat

AAA baseball stadium is scheduled for a ceremonial groundbreaking today. The project northeast of Lake and Second streets carries a price tag of more than $80 million.

Mayor Bob Cashell told developers of the Townhouses @ Holcomb Place last week that they clearly are working in one of the hot areas of the city for redevelopment.

And James Graham, who heads economic development for the Reno Redevelopment Agency, said the townhouse plans show continued confidence in downtown by residential developers.

“This project is one more reason to live downtown,” Graham said. “That’s what it’s all about building community.”

Bruce Szathmary, president of Management Development Services, said financing the project wasn’t a problem, even thought it wound its way through the city offices as the credit crunch was at its worst. Affinity Bank of California is the lender.

Instead, Szathmary said, the project was delayed because it’s a fairly unusual concept townhouses, each on a separately subdivided lot, rather than condominiums with common ownership. That required extra work by engineers and city planners.

“This was a learning process for everyone,” the developer said.

The two-story, 2,500-square-foot units will be priced in the high $400,000 range. Maggie Stockman of Ferrari-Lund Real Estate, who also brokered the property deal that got Management Development Services the long-vacant downtown land, will market the townhouses.

Among the potential buyers are the young professionals who city officials eagerly want to recruit into downtown neighborhoods, said Councilwoman Jessica Sferrazza.

Naisbitt Construction is the general contractor on the project engineered by Lumos and Associates and designed by architect Al Salzano.

If the project is successful, the developer plans another five units on an adjacent property, said Chip Evans, a vice president of Management Development Services.


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