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Tessera Presentation to RDA Board

04-18-09 - The Tessera project for those of you unfamiliar is a very large multi-block development being fine tuned and proposed in the area of 5th street, I-80, Evans Avenue and Virginia Street. The project has been a long time coming, and I am excited to see them reach this point. For over a decade now, the developers and entities involved with the project have been buying up parcels in this quadrant of downtown, sometimes at above market prices, in order to assemble the land necessary for this project. They were buying land right through the peak years of the real estate cycle.

The project is a mixed use project, involving retail, a hotel, entertainment venues, student housing for the University, and more. A key selling point for me is connecting the University of Nevada Reno to downtown, a goal that both the University and city officials have been striving for. It will include student housing, several venues geared to the University age bracket, and although I haven't see the latest renderings in a while, previous concepts showed a pedestrian bridge over I-80 connecting the University to this development, and Lake Street being pedestrian only for several blocks, tying in nicely with the soon-to-be 4th Street Transit Station. The project will fit in nicely with and is right around the corner from the proposed freight house retail district supporting the ballpark.

The project is being presented to the Redevelopment Agency Board Wednesday, April 22. Oh and before I get the 'pie in the sky' comments, I should mention that I have met these folks, they mean business, and this has been a project years and years in the making by local developers, not a fly-by-night proposal by out of state developers. It will be exciting to see the presentation and see how things progress! Tune into the council meeting at 2:00 p.m. on Charter 13 or online here. April 22 or better yet show up if you can and check it out!


Post your comments
Posted by: DAQ - 4/18/2009 4:09:32 PM
Here's what's going to happen, they'll demolish the buildings that are currently there, then half way through pouring the foundation they'll run out of money and declare bankruptcy. Now we got a huge area of downtown left abandoned for years and years as weeds grow and trash accumulates. This is "Grant's Landing" all over again. I know the economy's bad but why does this always happen to Reno?

Posted by: DowntownMakeoverDude - 4/18/2009 10:04:29 PM
Hi DAQ....not quite. You cant logicaly compare the two projects when they are entirely different companies in different situations etc. Also, there is no trash in the Grants Landing lot, I take my dogs there to play ball every other day. Having the open 5 acre lot is kind of nice, and Im glad its not fenced in. Also, before the Grants Landing lot was graded and cleared out it was a wild overgrown vacant lot in much worse condition than it is now. Large trees and brush concealed little makeshift crack pits, and it was common to find needles in this lot. Now, its cleaned up, and graded. Have you seen the buildings in the area where Tessera would be built? Blighted. And last I checked, the Grants Landing developer, Silverstar Communities, did not go bankrupt, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: Brian - 4/19/2009 10:59:47 AM
This news sounds promising. The first renders posted on Callison's website were a bit confusing, I hope the developers have worked on better drawings and such. It will be a massive swath of building if it come to fruition. I will try to make the meeting.

Posted by: David - 4/19/2009 11:14:27 PM
Well as a HS senior that is still considering UNR. A big part of my decision is that UNR is really lacking a major college district, like every other college in a major city has. The University of Nevada has so much potential to become a major flagship university, it just needs to think bigger. I think this would be a huge step forward.

Posted by: MattO - 4/20/2009 4:09:16 PM
I think this is going to happen, Nick Pavich will make sure of that. Plus, it's a great project. Think about what it would do to downtown, and Reno, if built. Think of the retailers, the restaurants, the hotel and just getting rid of all that blight. BUILD IT already, thank you Reno Aces and SK baseball and Fernando Leal for getting the ball rolling, this town needs it. Hopefully, the economy will have rebounded by the time this thing opens, if it opens.

Posted by: Hilton - 4/20/2009 11:15:34 PM
I work in the 5th street area and any improvement would be break in my eyes. I would be happy enough just to have some new buildings come in hopefully bringing a higher quality to the area. It is certainly and exciting time in Reno right now despite the crummy economy. Downtown has the potential to be really special if given the right care and intentions of the people in charge. As for it becoming a branch to downtown for the university I struggle to see it happening. The campus will not be able to be an active part of the community until it does something with its own area. If anyone has been in the residential area to the west of Sierra St they will see what I mean. How can we expect the university to join downtown when they let the surrounding areas be so run down.

Posted by: Land Guy - 4/21/2009 11:17:10 AM
DAQ, don't be a hater. Silverstar is not in BK, but rather was smart enough to halt their current plans in light of the ball park construction. Said ball park provides the necessary stimulus to create a much higher use project (think retail, office & residential) which will benefit Reno in the end. As stated, it's current condition is much better than previous so here's to highest and best use.

Posted by: DAQ - 4/21/2009 8:44:56 PM
Grant's Landing was a total failure, if I were the city I would put in the contract that the project must be completed at a certain time otherwise a fine would be assessed. If this project is started it must be completed. At this point I'd say the probability of this being completed would be about 20%. I'm not pessimist, I am more of a realist. I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: DAQ - 4/22/2009 6:37:30 PM
I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist. I want this project to succeed just as much as anyone. But if they start this project, IT MUST BE COMPLETED. I don't understand the timing of this project, you can't build retail establishments in this current economic climate. It seems destined to fail. If Tessera is started and not completed, I will lose all hope in downtown redevelopment.

Posted by: Anakin-Marc - 5/8/2009 8:31:50 PM
I don't know if this is part of the same project or not, but while walking down Virginia Streer, I noticed that 2 of the old motels across from Circus Circus were closed and surrounded by chain-link fence. These are the motels located next to the tire place. Talking to one of the mechanics who works at Circus, he said (or rather, his supervisor said via radio) that the motels were recently sold and coming down. looks like the area of downtown north of the arch and east of Virginia, is finally getting some long-needed attention.

Posted by: tocatchathief - 8/8/2010 9:51:21 PM
So "MattO" how's that Tessera project going for ya? As good as Courtyard at Idlywild or the Cottages at Kiley Ranch? What about Legend's Trail? Google search....


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