At Wednesday's City Council meeting, the council will ponder asking developers for RFQ's (Request for Qualifications) to develop the east side of the city plaza located in front of City Hall, which is currently being used as a staging area to construct the Virginia Street Bridge.
You can find the details of the RFQ at this link. There's lot of goodies, including imagery and renderings from what the original 2007 plans were. Can you believe that's how long it's been since we've discussed developing this property?
It was indicated in prior meetings there were developers already interested in this property, now that it's torn up and possibly easier to redevelop.
Originally, the project was referred to as '10 North Virginia' although now the properties are being referenced as 55 East First Street and 30 North Virginia Street.
The plan in 2007, was to build a multi-story restaurant and ice rink storage/chiller area that was all contained in one building. It was pretty snazzy looking (below).
There was also a beautiful canopy piece that would provide shade for the entire plaza, and the City of Reno was going to foot the bill for it, but instead used that funding to complete the ReTRAC train trench covers. I agree with that decision, and the covers provide a foundation for an urban community-oriented development, and a plaza canopy is just, well, a plaza canopy. I also like the sun beating down on me warming me up a bit while ice skating, so maybe a canopy isn't the best idea anyway.
Also included in the RFQ, is the infamous Cal Neva parking garage across the street, which the city bought. Putting in some street-level retail like the garage on First and Sierra has, would be sweet. Including the garage is a slick way to possibly get it repaired/improved without the City of Reno paying for it.
I am glad to see this concept fired up again after nearly 10 years on the back burner. Let's see what happens!