News 8-25-07 HUGE Downtown Baseball Plan

The Downtown Baseball Stadium moved one step closer to being a reality when the Citizens Advisory Council unanimously approved a $55,000,000 plan to not only put the stadium downtown, but transform the ENTIRE EAST SIDE OF DOWNTOWN into a new baseball district. We're talking from the current Citycenter Bus Station all the way over to the Freight House and then South all the way to the Truckee River along Evans and Lake St. Now I'm REALLY excited about this. The Developers are complying with the Council's concerns they don't want JUST a stadium built downtown. Are you guys getting exited yet? I am. The deal would give developers city owned land at Evans and Second streets, including the Freight House, the downtown Reno Fire Station and a third piece of property where a weekly motel/apartments is located. Siena Communities who originally was going to build lofts there, has entered a tentative land trade deal for other land the City owns. The developers would also get the Citicenter bus terminal if the city buys it from the Regional Transportation Commission. I believe the property is currently being appraised. RTC is planning a new bus station east of the Bowling Stadium. Developers also would get a 20-year lease for the first floor of the National Bowling Stadium and would agree to finish the south end of the building, which has been left half-built for a decade.
Evans Street would be abandoned for a plaza connecting a new shopping area to the vacant block to the west, where the Mizpah Hotel burned down last October. The Reno Gazette Journal reports Lewis said the developers are trying to buy the block.
Now here is the wild part. THIS ALSO INCLUDES THE PROPERTY WHERE THE WATERFRONT IS/WAS GOING. It's been confirmed the project is in redesign, as we had suspected The condo project will cover two small blocks at Lake and First streets.
So wow! We now have a project that has gone from 10 acres to 42+ acres. AND, it's getting very close to becoming a reality. Next step: The plan goes before the City Council/Redevelopment Agency on Wed. OK now that pedestrian bridge makes some sense, lol.

Post your comments
Posted by: wiley_n_reno - 8/25/2007 3:55:38 PM
this is ambitious and is a much better plan than the Sparks Marina site for a ballpark. Car parking might be a concern but I also think that a lot of those "weed infested empty lots" could/will be turned into temporary parking on game nights nearby. A Triple A team is one level below the majors. Not comparable to the current Reno Astros or Silver Sox. Hopefully it will happen-- talk is cheap.

Posted by: Crystal - 8/25/2007 9:45:02 PM
I really really really hope this happens.

Posted by: Doofus - 8/26/2007 6:06:57 PM
This getting really exciting. I like the larger scale of the project, and don't forget about all the parcels that are being assembled just north of the site. It could end up with a 2 block swath from the river to I-80 being redeveloped. My one carp is the VIP parking lot along the river. I understand the need for limited parking, but I'm not in favor of ANYTHING infringing on the river - it is becoming Reno's signature and needs to be protected.. I wonder if some negotiations with SP (or Reno, not exactly sure who controls this strip) to utilize their lands just north of the trench for game day parking might be possible, maybe combining with what looks like a city owned parking area at the south end of Record Street. In any case, cool!

Posted by: Brian - 8/26/2007 8:01:45 PM
Excellent news!!! I am confused however with the part concerning the Waterfront project. I know of the redesign details,But, I am wondering about budget. Is the $55 million dollar figure into the waterfront property, or are those monies different? Also is Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects and Carlos Zapata the architects in charge of the redesign? WF is my favorite of all the towers planned,even I daresay more then the GSR.I HOPE for many old elements to remain. I have to agree that all this space is amazing, 40 plus acre's is great. If the developers play their cards right, we can have a landmark development. I am going to stress this point in case those involved read this. I think it is time for Reno to build something iconic, regardless of money. The footprint here is huge. 42 acres is massive. Whoever is actually putting out the cash for this thing needs to see the opportunity for such scope. I understand a design has already been inked. Thats all great,but I think a world class design should be built. That means we must have the best architects design all of this. In other cities across the country, massive new properties are being built or proposed,IE, New York-Freedom Tower/WTC. Chicago-Chicago Spire. San Francisco-Transbay Towers. Reno may not be as cosmopolitan or large as this cities, but that does not mean we can't have a modern and hip city. Now here is my vision of all this news. I remember hearing a proposal to bring the Olympics here in 2018. An idea came to me. Use the Freight House district as the Olympic village. this is a perfect opportunity to transform Reno. The Stadium should be redesigned to fit events sponsored by the Winter Olympics. When an event like the Olympics come by is not a time to skimp on details. this is a time to excel and say hello world, we are Reno!!! With the RTC parcel being involved would be a great time to start introducing a new level of transit, such as a monorail,light rail design. maybe even a more daring idea, and start building a subway system. We need something to help get people on the move a bit faster then RTC buses,plus it will look cool. My thoughts are now voiced. I would like to think someone out there understands what I am trying to say here. The feeling I have on this are deep. This is a chance for reno to pioneer in something. I feel better, I have been meaning to write about all this. I am going to remain positive now.this kind of project has no room for negativity. Thank you for reading.

Posted by: Steve - 8/27/2007 5:05:46 PM
Ok: First impression... The U.S. economy is headed for a major recession if not worse. If all of this property gets into private hands in a few years this area will be a WASTELAND! At least in the current situation there are multiple parties responsible for interests in this area. Gaming is likely to hold up or even do well in an unwinding consumer economy but a sports venue, OMG. Come on people we can do etter than this!

Posted by: RenoSteve - 8/28/2007 2:44:35 PM
Steve, most of the land on the several block area is already in private hands. And, the several parcels that are not - with the exception of the Fire Station Parcel - are either (1) newly city-acquired RR parcels [that the city has planned to sell or otherwise dispose of, or (2) Redevelopment parcels that the city acquired and planned to dispose of to an interested developer, or (3) the existing RTC station parcel which the city has also been trying to acquire when no longer needed as a transit station which it then intended to sell (to a developer) and/or redevelop itself. In short, this proposed deal is just one big proposal to do what the city already wanted to have happen to this part of downtown. It wanted it to all - essentially - be redeveloped by the private sector with assistance - where necessary - from the redevelopment agency, etc. I would be very surprised if the city did not demand that the baseball/shopping developer entity must sign some sort of Development agreement that mandates a timeline for redevelopment or requires the return to city ownership of current public lands that are part of the deal. A bad economy can always wreak havoc, but it is kind self defeating to refuse to sign a deal because the deal might not prove viable if the economy happens to go to heck in a handbasket.

Posted by: David - 8/28/2007 3:33:09 PM
Steve I think you have Baseball and Condos confused buddy. Type in Baseball's Importance During the Great Depression into google. People will pay $8 to see a good ball game during hard times, it helps them get away from stress, if there is a recession coming, which is debatable. People won't, however pay $600,000 for a 2 bedroom condo downtown during hard times, so which has the better chance of success? Would you rather have them build nothing and it become a dark slum neighborhood? I'm sure residents downtown would appreciate that over a ballpark to head over to on a Saturday evening.

Posted by: Perry - 8/29/2007 2:21:13 PM
I'm not so sure this will be as popular as hoped. The Silver Sox play in a nice arena up at UNR and doesn't really get a lot of people. I have a hard time believing that a AAA team and a field will bring people out that previously weren't. Don't get me wrong, I love downtown redevelopment and hope it becomes a thriving place. I'm just afraid Reno doesn't have the population or interest to support this project. Hopefully, it it's built, they will come.