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Agency Priorities, Projects and Incentives

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Priorities

Annually the Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board recommends and the City Council/Agency Board approves priority economic development/redevelopment projects and programs.  The most recently approved and active priority projects and programs are shown in the table below.   A more detailed description and the status of each project follows:

Project/Program

Area

Funded

Unfunded

Retention, Expansion and Attraction of Geothermal Energy Firms

Citywide


AAA Stadium

RDA #1


Freight House Sales Tax Increment District

RDA #1


Old RSGM Parking Lot

RDA #1


Façade Program

RDA #1


City Plaza (10 North Virginia)

RDA #1


Post Office

RDA #1


ReTRAC Project Enhancements

RDA #1


West Street Market

RDA #1


Whitewater Park Extension

RDA #1


Tessera Sales Tax Increment District

RDA #2


University Gateway

RDA #2


East Fourth Street

RDA #2


South Virginia Complete Street (Streetscape and Lane Configurations)

RDA #2


South Virginia Commercial

RDA #2


 

Geothermal Firms Retention, Expansion and Attraction - Reno is #4 on the Geothermal Energy Association list of the World's Leading Geothermal Cities and is the highest ranking US city on that list.  The US Department of Energy National Geothermal Institute has been established at the Redfield Campus at the south end of the City.  The Institute is a Consortium of MIT, Cornell, Stanford, the Oregon Institute of Technology and the University of Utah coordinated by the University of Nevada.  The City is committed to long-term growth of this industry and was the host city for the Geothermal Resources Council 2009 Annual Meeting and the Geothermal Energy Expo which is the world's largest gathering of vendors providing support for the geothermal industry.  The City will host the event again in 2012 and will be a sponsor at the 2010 conference. 

AAA Baseball Stadium - Work continues on minor follow-up items related to the stadium.  This project will remain as a priority project until fully completed. 

Freight House Sales Tax Increment District - This project includes the development that is planned for the properties around the new AAA Stadium, National Bowling Stadium, Events Center and Fourth Street Transit Center.  The sales tax increment district has been created and two reimbursement agreements have been approved.  Additional projects and reimbursement agreements are being pursued.

Old RSGM Parking Lot - The demolition of the old Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission (RSGM) building has been completed and a new parking lot created.  The City will manage the lot while the adjacent property owners maintain it.

Façade Program - The purpose of this program is to provide low and no interest loans to properties to make façade improvements.  This program is currently unfunded.

City Plaza (10 North Virginia Street) - The proposed developer of the site remains interested in completing the project, but at this time the private development project is on hold due to financing constraints.

Post Office - Negotiations for acquisition of the Post Office and relocation of the operations currently at that site are ongoing.

ReTRAC Enhancements - Over $1,000,000 in Federal funding has been secured. The final project agreements between the City and the Nevada Department of Transportation are being prepared. Deign Workshop and Lumos Engineering have been selected and prepared a scope of work for urban design, engineering and construction document preparation.

West Street Market - The market is substantially complete and is partially occupied. Operation of the market requires continued tenant recruitment, management of tenant issues and turnover, management of facilities and maintenance, and ongoing programming with the Farmers Market and other entertainment activities.

Whitewater Park Extension - This project is intended to extend the whitewater park further downstream by adding additional access points and other amenities. It is currently unfunded.

Tessera Sales Tax Increment District - This project includes the development that is planned for properties located in the northeast portion of downtown Reno, between the Reno Events Center/Ballroom, the University of Nevada, North Virginia Street and Evans Avenue. The sales tax increment district has been created. No reimbursement agreements have been approved to date.

University Gateway - This project covers the four block area bounded by Interstate 80, Ninth Street, Sierra Street and Evans Avenue. The City has processed a Master Plan amendment on behalf of the University and property owners and is pursuing grant funding for improvements in the area. At this time new private development projects are on hold due to financing constraints. 

East Fourth Street Corridor - As a result of meeting with interested citizens, two projects have been initiated:  an amendment to the Reno Municipal Code to relax the parking requirements to what they were prior to the adoption of the East Fourth Street TOD Corridor Plan and a "main street" planning effort similar to that performed for Wells Avenue and California Avenue.  The Reno Municipal Code amendment has been completed.  The Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association conducted a charrette on East Fourth Street and provided their recommendations to the City.  At this point restriping consistent with the “main street” plan may be completed as part of the RTC slurry seal project.  The RTC, with participation from Reno and Sparks, is also leading an effort to obtain Federal grant funding for East Fourth Street and Prater Way improvements.  

South Virginia Complete Street (Streetscape and Lane Configurations) - This project will create design standards for improvements to streets and sidewalks and placement of street furniture, lights and trees.  The City is seeking Federal grant funding for these improvements.  This project will also include plans for reconfiguring lanes, moving parking off-street, and expanding sidewalks so that a bus rapid transit/streetcar/light rail transit line can be accommodated on Virginia Street between the University of Nevada and the Meadowood area.  The Regional Transportation Commission is also completing design work for the 14 bus rapid transit stations. 

South Virginia Street Commercial - This project is intended to assist small business through loans, grants, façade improvements assistance, or other necessary economic development mechanisms.  The project is currently unfunded. 

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Projects

Redevelopment and economic growth can be seen through the many projects in the City and downtown area. Completed projects in the downtown area are shown below.

Project Description
Century Riverside 12 Theatre

Century Riverside 12 Theatre
The 2,200 seat, 12-screen, multi-plex theater, opened in 1999. Located at the corner of West 1st and Sierra Streets.

National Bowling Stadium

National Bowling Stadium
Opened in February 1995.  Located at Fourth and Center Streets. 

Parking Gallery

 

 

Parking Gallery
Located on the northwest corner of Sierra and First Streets. Includes commercial space on the ground floor with a restaurant and art gallery.

Raymond I. Smith Truckee River Walk

Raymond I. Smith Truckee River Walk
Built in the early 1990's.   The River Walk has seven water features and original sculptures of native Nevada wildlife.  It can be accessed from the Virginia Street Bridge near the Riverside Artist Lofts.

Reno City Hall

 

Reno City Hall
Located at One East First Street.  City offices moved to this renovated building in the summer of 2004.  It is now a modern office structure with a state-of-the-art City Council Chambers on the first floor,  along with the Metro Gallery, exhibiting local artists in the lobby.

Reno Events Center

 

Reno Events Center
Located at the corner of Fourth and Center Street. with 118,000 sq. ft. available, it serves as a downtown entertainment venue. 

Riverside Artist Lofts

Riverside Artist Lofts
Rebuilt in 1927, the Hotel Riverside served for years as a hotel, then a hotel/casino. Today it is an affordable housing living and working space for 35 Reno artists, with art galleries and restaurants on the first floor, including outside dining next to the river.  Located on Virginia Street immediately south of the Virginia Street Bridge.

Siena Hotel Spa & Casino

Siena Hotel Spa & Casino
Located on South Center Street, immediately south of the center street bridge.

Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield

Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield
One-half mile long, the whitewater park runs through downtown Reno.  Can be accessed from Arlington Avenue and Wingfield Park.

West Street Plaza

West Street Plaza
West Street Plaza was dedicated in 1999 .  Located to the south of the intersection of First and West Streets.

William F. Harrah's National Automobile Museum

William F. Harrah National Automobile Museum
Located at Lake and Mill Streets on the Truckee River.

Wingfield Park and Amphitheater

Wingfield Park and Amphitheater 
Located at the corner of Arlington Avenue and First Streets in Reno.    

Mills B. Lane Justice Center

 

Mills B. Lane Justice Center
Located on Sierra Street, just South of the Truckee River.

Palladio

Palladio 
13-story mixed use project at the corner of Sierra and First Streets, next to the Truckee River. This project includes 19,000 square feet of retail space with restaurants, a parking garage, and condominiums.

ReTRAC Project

ReTRAC Project
The project to lower 2.3 miles of railroad track through downtown was the biggest public works improvement ever undertaken by the City of Reno.

Theater Corner Parcel

Theater Corner Parcel
$1.3 million development with three restaurant spaces located  at the corner of First and Sierra Streets.

Aces Ballpark (AAA Stadium)

Aces Ballpark (AAA Stadium)

Opened in 2009, the Aces Ballpark is the home to the Pacific Coast League Reno Aces and the anchor to the Freight House District with numerous restaurants and entertainment venues.

 

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Incentives

 

The Reno Redevelopment Agency provides incentives from property and sales tax increment funds. 

Tax Increment Funds - Nevada state law makes available to redevelopment agencies a method of obtaining funds called "tax increment financing."  On the date the city council approves a redevelopment plan, the property within the boundaries of the plan has a certain total property tax value.  If the assessed property valuation increases, most of the property taxes that are derived from the increase go to the redevelopment agency.  If a sales increment (a.k.a. tourism improvement or STAR bond) district is created where no sales tax revenues were previously generated, most of the sales tax increment revenues go to the City.  These funds are called "tax increments."  Usually, the flow of tax increment revenues to the agency and/or City will not be sufficient in itself to finance the full scope of redevelopment activities and development projects.  Therefore, agencies and cities issue bonds.  These bonds are not a debt of the city or county general fund and are repaid solely from tax increment revenues.  Tax increments can be used only in the same project area where they are generated. 

Reno has both property tax and sales tax increment districts.  The property tax increment districts are Project Area 1 (RDA #1) map and Project Area 2 (RDA #2) map.  The sales tax increment districts are Cabela's map, Freight House District map and Tessera map.  The City Council has adopted guidelines for negotiating sales tax increment reimbursement agreements.  The revenues from the increments are used to buy property, that is made available to developers, as an incentive to provide infrastructure (streets, sewer lines, sidewalks, etc.) needed for development, or to directly reimburse developers for preapproved projects.

Other Funding Sources - The City offers various financial incentives in addition to tax increment funds.  These include Community Development Block Grants and the GROBusiness Business Loan Fund administered through the Nevada Microenterprise Initiative.

Development Processing and Entitlement - In areas designated for high intensity development, primarily transit oriented development (TOD) corridors and regional centers, the City Council has adopted plans and municipal code that allow many types of development to occur without further discretionary approvals (i.e., projects can apply for building permits without any additional planning or zoning approvals required).

In addition, the Community Development Department provides streamlined review of building plans  (over 90% of project plans are reviewed within 10 working days). 

The Community Development Department and Redevelopment Agency are prepared to provide a customized package of financial and development processing incentives for qualified projects.  For further information contact the Economic Development/Redevelopment Agency staff.

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