Veteran developer plans 500-acre Elko project
Longtime residential developer Jack Reynan hopes to reshape the look of Elko’s southern end.
Reynan, president of Artisan Communities of Sacramento and former partner in Reynen & Bardis Communities, is moving forward on a plan to develop 500 acres of land just west of exit 298 off Interstate 80.
Artisan Communities currently is under contract with Bar L Ranch owner Sindie Miller for sale of the land. Artisan Communities plans a mix of commercial properties near the highway interchange along with industrial and residential development further west.
The initial phase of the multi-year development plan would start with about 37 acres, contingent on receiving funding and getting water and utilities to the site, Reynen says. The current plan calls for running water from the north to the southern end of the property.
“Elko only has three freeway interchanges,” Reynen adds. “This one really is under-utilized because there is no water and sewer, so it’s limited as to what can be done.”
Artisan Communities specializes in residential development and would most likely partner with another developer to handle build-to-suit flex industrial at the site. Artisan also would sell off land to companies interested in building their own facilities.
“We still are trying to get together all the funding — that is always the most important thing, but we are pretty close on that,” Reynen says. “We have put a lot of time and money into it, and we continue to do so. The market a year ago would have been full speed ahead, but the market is little bit more tempered now — but the gold still is in the ground.”
The proposed residential development could eventually be many as 300 homes.
Artisan Communities has been developing homes in Elko County since 2011 when it purchased 78 lots at Hamilton Stage. To date the company has built and sold 41 homes and has several more in escrow. Reynen says Artisan will continue to build out the subdivision on pace with market demand.
Sales at Hamilton Stage were strong to start 2013, he says, but tapered off as the price of gold declined during the course of the year.
“We like Elko, but it is very subject to what is happening in the gold mining industry,” Reynen says. “Last spring, sort of late winter, gold was very high, and things are still good but not quite as good as what they were 15 months ago.”
Artisan in February purchased an additional 13 lots at the Eight Mile Estates at the Peace Park in Elko and expect to begin building out those lots once its plans for the development are approved by the City of Elko. Home sites range in size from 1,456 to 2,231 square feet in four different plans.
Elko is the farthest Artisan Communities has ventured from its core markets of northern Nevada and the Sacramento Valley. Reynen says the company headed east because Artisan’s core markets were still suffering when it picked up its first land package in 2011.
“Elko, with its mining industry, was doing really well compared to other places and there was a shortage of builders. We thought there was an opportunity for more building.”
Development in Elko has posed a few new challenges for the company. Foremost was the logistics of scheduling subcontractors such as electricians, plumbers and carpenters, many of which came from the Reno-Sparks area due to a shortage of available firms in northeastern Nevada. Artisan tried to provide on-site trailers and make other housing arrangements for out-of-area firms, Reynen says.
Another new wrinkle: Artisan had never included wells or septic tanks in its subdivisions in larger metropolitan areas.
“We have not typically done wells and septic tanks, but Elko has been a friendly community in which to build,” Reynen says.
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