Developer wants to buy land from City for new riverfront townhome project with bike link to downtown

by Mike Van Houten / Jun 7, 2021

In this week’s city council meeting, during the RDA portion of the meeting, one of the agenda items is a hearing for a developer to purchase riverfront land for a new townhome development that includes a pedestrian- and bike-link to the ballpark and downtown.

You can find it here, starting on page 638. On a side note, I love how the City refers to these documents as 'Agenda Packets', making them sound like a simple three-page document and not a 700-page-long novel. I don't envy the council members for having to read these novels prior to each meeting. So much info to absorb. 

Anyway, the property is located on East Commercial row, just east of the Wells Avenue overpass, the location of one of the larger homeless encampments in Reno that was recently removed by the City. The parcel numbers are APN 011-450-21 and APN 008-370-33. The developer, Canon Investment Group, would like to buy it for $430,656.

The land in question is only a portion of these parcels, totaling 81,536 square feet.

In the gallery below, you can find maps, and renderings, pulled from the Staff Report.

According to the staff report, the mission of the project is to ‘Create a townhome rental housing community with a park and open space celebrating the Truckee River’s edge, with an active pedestrian and bike link along the river trail to the Greater Nevada Field and downtown.’

The project as proposed consists of 225 units, with 85 one bedroom, 80 two bedroom and 60 three-bedroom units.

The site consists of 1.52 RDA-owned land, and 5.66 acres from privately owned parcels.

The timeline if all goes well and there aren’t too many hiccups, would have the groundbreaking occur in 2022 and the units leasing in 2024.

It’s unclear how the pedestrian bike link would work, but in one of the images in the staff report, there appears to be a link that will cross the river over to the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway, thus linking it to the Ballpark and downtown.

It appears that Sutro Street to East Commercial Row will be the primary access point for residents and cars.

Parking for residents will reside underneath the residential units, thus eliminating the need for a parking garage or a large parking lot.

It’s an interesting location for a residential project, if not even a bit ballsy, being next to Waste Management’s recycling center, and an industrial-ish area of the city you wouldn't expect a townhome project to be built. 

If done properly however, it could be a great catalyst for this area. What are your thoughts on the project? Is the asking price fair, for essentially-unused land the RDA owns? The Reno Redevelopment Agency could certainly use the money. What are your thoughts on the project itself, as proposed?

East Commercial Row

Tagged under: downtown Reno
Post your comments
  • June 7, 2021 - 11:16:26 AM

    its INFILL development so its automatically a good project. Un-like the 3,000 home sprawl monstrosity over 15 years they just approved out by Cold Springs off of 395!

  • June 7, 2021 - 11:30:25 AM

    Great Place for train watchers. Rails come out of east end of the trench here!

  • June 7, 2021 - 11:55:16 AM

    $233k/acre for riverfront land? Why even offer to pay if the value is so crazy under market? Or is someone taking the Assessor valuations as if they aren't preposterously low?

  • June 7, 2021 - 12:09:37 PM

    That said, the project would be a good one for the area and the city. The proposal to build is contingent on them closing the purchase of 3 other private parcels held by developers. Claiming a valuation from a sale proposal 4 years ago that wasn't approved is pretty thin justification for $4/sf land price in the middle of town. If they want a city subsidy, let them close on the other parcels, then ask for 20% off the per sf price, which is more likely to be $40 than $4.

  • June 17, 2021 - 5:02:58 PM

    I can't think of a worse location to build townhomes, given it's current state. Have you seen what's under the Wells Overpass? It's bad. Then you got Waste Management trucks driving around and the ReTrac right next to you. But whatever, I guess that's what it's come to as far as affordable housing developments in this town now. More power to them.

  • August 10, 2021 - 1:20:56 PM

    Right on top of the train, check, next to waste treatment facility check, under a 24 hour busy overpass, check. Seems to make 100% sense. Also theme "connected" home designs look more akin to duplexes rather than a townhome. These will go for at least half a million or more simply due to the waterfront aspect, even though almost every other aspect is really really bad. I hope the city at least asks for a whole lot of money for it.