Staff report on permit reviews reveal how expensive it is to build right now

by Mike Van Houten / Feb 8, 2022

For a while now, the City of Reno has been paying a 3rd party to review building permits that its own internal staff couldn't handle, due to the sheer size or volume of these larger projects. They fell outside of the scope and expertise of internal City of Reno staff.

These particular projects are quite large, so the city hired a 3rd party consultant, Bureau Veritas, to review them as well. 

Check out pages 90-91 of the Staff Report for the February 9 City Council meeting. It's revealing on several levels. 

First, it provides a snapshot of LARGE projects that have submitted building permits that are already being constructed or is in the pipeline and will be constructed soon. 

And second, when you look at the project valuation column, as Robin would say, "holy expensive, Batman!'

One of the construction crew at Reno Experience District once told me the Emory cost approx $60,000,000+ to build, so these project valuations fall in line with that. It's quite easy to conclude, it's really, really expensive to build large residential buildings right now. 

Here's a list of some of the projects listed and their construction valuations. 

WINGFIELD MIXED USE FOUNDATION ONLY BLD21-01198E (Kimpton Hotel on Island Ave)  - $11,700,000.00 

ELEMENT HOTEL BLD21-03944E (Reno Experience District) -  $20,778,426.00

HERE RENO - BUILDING -  BLD21-05419 (student housing on 9th Street and Evans)  - $46,469,570.11 

GMH ACADEMY RENO BLD21-04798 (student housing on Virginia and 15th Street)  - $66,058,751.00

STATE STREET APARTMENTS BLD21-04302E (vacant lot between Mill and State Street) - $6,899,312.00

600 N CENTER- PARKING GARAGE BLD21-12608E (661 Lake Street project) $4,837,859.38

600 N CENTER - BUILDING  - $35,485,523..00

RENO BALLPARK APARTMENTS BLD21-12874E  - (across from Greater Nevada Field south of Mens Club) $65,051,556.00

HERE RENO - FOUNDATION ONLY BLD21-04193E (student housing on 9th and Evans) -  $7,078,333.00

STEVENSON STREET APARTMENTS BLD21-04909 (this land recently sold, uknown if project is happening still) - $11,115,507.08

Vintage at Washington Station BLD22-01252e (I beleive this is the senior housing project at 265 Washington) -  $17,092,584.00

Valley Road Multi Family BLD22-02169E - (5-story multi-family apartments)  - $29,050,078.90

Stewart Flats BLD22-01489e  - (75-unit apartment building on corner of Wells and Stewart, unknown if project is still happening) - $7,039,801.09

Up Campus BLD22-05573e  -  (student housing at 401 Highland Ave east of Evans Ave) -  $45,070,085.89

Latigo Reno BLD22-05445e  - (434 Highland Ave, may be part of Up Campus?)  - $71,514,337.18

126 Winter St BLD22-06024E  - (New apartments on Winter Street) - $11,836,911.00

STATE STREET APARTMENTS (Review 2) BLD21-04302E  - $8,554,173.00

You start to see very quickly why larger affordable housing projects just can't be built without some kind of subsidy or govt assistance. I don't think these project valuations even include the land cost, which can easily add another $4,000,000 up to $11,000,000 of the cost of any project located on prime real estate downtown. 


Tagged under: downtown Renopermits
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  • February 8, 2022 - 10:46:14 AM

    Don't confuse Permit Valuation with Project Cost. Permit valuation is based on the actual estimated cost to build the structure. Project Cost includes land purchase, Planning entitlements, consultant fees, permit fees, park fees, sewer connection fees, transit impact fees, TMWA water fees, non-permit construction (flooring, fixtures, appliances, finishes and furnishings), and loan/interest fees. Add another 75-100% to the Permit Valuation to estimate the total all in Project Cost.