News 4-19-07 Concerns about Downtown

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Posted by: Todd - 4/19/2007 1:03:05 PM
I am 100% in agreement about the pawn shop topic, as I'm sure many people are. I've always wondered how are they still in business and who really goes in them, not to mention what kind of leases they are on since it seems as if the leases would be higher for such prime locations.

Posted by: ModGirl - 4/19/2007 3:46:01 PM
Condo pricing: A sore subject for a lot of people, including myself since I can't even afford to live in one of the studios and I work close to the downtown in my professional field. Is the whole mixed use concept being stalled because of the greedy realtors..... or poor budgeting on the developers part? Back in the day Palladio was selling their one bedrooms for $225K. Imagine if that were still the case! The bastards are doing something right, they jacked up their prices 150K, cut down the square footage of each unit, and TA-DA, there are only 20 units left to sell. Who are the people who threw down 600K for a 2 bedroom? I can tell you one thing, they are people with a lot of disposable income, who want to be in the middle of it all. They are people who want to spend money on shopping and entertainment provided by our local retailers, helping the downtown businesses prosper. Not only that, these are residents who LOVE Reno. They will be the ones involved in making our downtown the place to be ( at least I hope). No matter what the price these condos are going for, it's better than a dirt lot, or a vacant casino. It's only a matter of time before prices drop... If the units remain vacant. Patience. Patience.

Posted by: Wiley_n_reno - 4/20/2007 9:50:24 AM
first off, there is nothing wrong with acting as Cheerleader. Indeed the facades have to be upgraded. What about the dirty overhang at the prime corner of 4th and N.Virginia? Those convenience stores look just awful! Cant the city give interest free loans for this? We all know it matters. Also it would be nice to save and sandblast as much as the older architecture as possible. I was just in Downtown Long Beach for the Grand Prix and they've done a great job upgrading without losing the feeling of a 1940's city. The Mayor has said he'd like to operate the bulldozer to knock down the Kings Inn himself. Also Reno needs a better river downtown walkway on the North side... from Wingfield park to The Freight house area.... along the general lines of Bostons Freedom trail. Something lit at night and uniform in design.

Posted by: Reno Passport - 4/20/2007 10:21:33 AM
Downtown Reno is truely an Unpridictable Beast, but has some serious potential to improve. I live downtown it is like the most painful anticipation ever. I concur with the group, downtown condo ownership is cost prohibitive for most single professionals and even dual-income couples. I would like to see some of the smaller "Pigeon Coups" in downtown revitalized. When will we see a mid-sized project that is not completely over the top. I think the condo builders need to take a closer look at Reno demographics and find a happy medium: A modest profit for them, and a reasonable price for young professionals. Why not make improvements to a 20-40 unit building, and see what happens, price them at $160,000 to $260,000, more people in this town can afford these prices. As for the downtown pawnshops, gonna be tough to change that trend. I bet the landlords really like pawn shops, as they do have cash flow and likely negotiate long term leases. BOTTOM LINE: Pawn Shops indirectly put cash in the pocket of theiving meth heads and gamblers (i am sure the casino's don't mind the Pawn Shops). Would be fun to track the amount of dollars handed out at a pawn shop, and how long it takes to enter the Casinos bank account.

Posted by: Tom - 4/20/2007 11:16:35 AM
A search on the Dickson Realty web site shows 24 Palladio condos for sale - I believe this is one more than they originally had to sell when they took over as the broker some months ago. These do not appear to be moving and there is very little daily activity at the job site. What all this means I do not know.

Posted by: Revi S - 4/20/2007 11:36:07 AM
Tsk tsk shame on you for bowing to those idiots on Diane's blog. Downtown still needs some work, but I fully enjoy living downtown and have since 1990. Diane is right, anyone who can't see the changes downtown is an idiot. I am not embarassed to take my family downtown these days; they enjoy it....tubing in the Truckee in the summer and ice sakting in the winter.

Posted by: doofus - 4/20/2007 6:06:53 PM
I wish you were the cheerleader for my neighborhood! Urban renewal / redevelopment is and should be an organic process. It is working well along California Avenue and Wells / Vassar. Something gets going, a community forms, and the redevelopment tendrils go out. A lot of small steps. "River North" is really coming along with the Palladio, Wingfield Park, the theaters, and the new retail along Sierra. Redevelopment is following the river. But in order to get the tendrils to N. Virginia, something has got to be done with the Masonic building along the river. It is the cork that is stopping development into the Virginia Street corridor. It seems like a great site for redevelopment, and the riverwalk could be widened by canilevering over the river a bit. Make that connection and we are really extending the riverfront development another block, with the 10 NVA plaza slowly reaching reality. With that anchor along the river, I think you would start to see private developement taking a look at the first few blocks of NVA (the Penny's and Woolworth Buildings on 1st are already in play. So now we are up to Center Street, at the edge of the Freighthouse District which would now be connected to all the riverfront redevelopment, with Grant's Landing across the creek. Pretty cool. Don't believe that all the schlock and pawn shops along NVA are paying high rents. Rents here are based on foot traffic. The major casino's have an interest in keeping foot traffic on NVA as LOW as possible - they want all the traffic in their casinos. So we will see this summer if all the reconstruction costs along NVA were worth it. When the Silver Legacy starts putting in windows and outdoor cafes, we will know if it was a success or not. Affordable housing is a huge issue not only downtown, but in the whole region. Requiring below market rate units passes the "swing" cost of those units along to the market rate units. To alleviate this, the developers in cities such as SF negotiate (or try to)added density of market rate units to offset their additional costs. That is also how the LA project is being presented. Here in downhome Reno, the developers just propose projects to their maximum financial potential gain, and the City goes gaga about the added tax revenue. I can't cite many (any, actually) cases where the City has not altered their zoning and density standards to get new development off the ground. And that's just wrong. It alters the lifestyle of the existing residents, without leveraging the power to make this a more inclusionary City. We can and need to better.

Posted by: RenoTeal - 4/21/2007 9:11:48 AM
My wife and I love the downtown area. We live near Mt Rose Hiway right now but are trying to sell and possibly relocate downtown. We spend lots of time down by the river walking, etc. The river is a fabulous asset that is slowly being utilized. We all know things are slow but need to remain patient. We very much appreciate the info we can access on your website. Keep up the outstanding work. I also see nothing wrong with being excited with the improvements downtown. If that's being a cheerleader, so be it.