Greenstreet Communities Development Co. of Reno held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday in Victorian Square to mark the start of two new renovation projects with the potential to revitalize downtown Sparks.
Dane Hillyard, co-owner of Greenstreet, is leading the $25 million project to transform the Bourbon Square Casino and the Silver Club Hotel into trendy properties that he said will mix well with other developments underway in downtown Sparks.
With redevelopment, Hillyard said changes are coming in the next few years that will bring a fresh surge of residential, retail and office space.
Another company, Silverwing Development, has started work on a large-scale apartment project in Victorian Square on parcels it purchased from the city. That development, called Fountainhouse, will have 236 apartment units in 12 buildings. Two of the buildings near Century Theatres will have restaurant and retail space.
Hillyard announced that the old Bourbon Square Casino will be gutted and transformed into a community courtyard with a mixture of restaurants and retail shops on the bottom floor and office space on the top two floors. It will be known as The Yard.
Hillyard said preliminary discussions with the city have started and plans will need to be approved.
“Victorian Square is changing,” Hillyard said. “As a casino, the Bourbon Square didn’t improve the area, but having the upper floors converted into office space will bring in hundreds of people for work each week and that will change it. We believe this project will create a lot of new vibrancy in downtown Sparks….We’re going to use all that space and fill it.”
Hillyard said his company is working with LandCap Investment Partners of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., a company with years of experience in redesigning buildings for mixed use.
He said residents and tourists alike will have new choices in restaurants with indoor/outdoor patio seating and retail shops on the ground floor and high-class office space on the top two floors. Hillyard said he’s already received interest in the office space.
When Justin Mummers, owner of a new sports bar called Mumms on Victorian Avenue, heard about the redevelopment plans, he said he’s hopeful that the project will bring in more business to the area.
“I think it would make all of the businesses do better down there,” Mummers said.
Hillyard said The Yard has the potential to create a downtown community.
“People working and living downtown will need a bite to eat and retail therapy,” Hillyard said. “I think people will come in from outside of Sparks to wine and dine where right now they might not. People go to Legends, but this will be a cool place, with local restaurants. We are just expanding on the vibe that already exists down there.”
The Silver Club Hotel is being gutted and renovated into 100 modern, energy-efficient lofts. That development, called C Street Lots, will have a small fitness center, business center, and a café for residents. The outdoor recreation area will feature a fire pit, barbecue with an outdoor kitchen, and community gardens for residential use. Bike storage units will also be available.
The renovated building will have new plumbing, heating and cooling, and energy-efficient windows, Hillyard said. Studio units and one-, two- and three-bedroom lofts will be available, each with its own balcony, washer and dryer, and European-style cabinetry.
“It’s going to be a cool place to live, dine, shop and work,” the developer said.