Surrounding the old Silver Club Hotel on C Street is a chain link fence with signs revealing the structure is under renovation.
Greenstreet Communities purchased the hotel along with Bourbon Square Casino earlier this year and plans to renovate the properties for residential and commercial use.
Dane Hillyard of Greenstreet Communities last week told members of 39 North Downtown, a non-profit group promoting revitalization of downtown Sparks, that the old hotel will be renovated into a trendy residential complex.
As Hillyard unveiled the proposed renderings for the project, he said the hotel may have become an eye sore for downtown Sparks, but not for long.
“We proposed a look that is part of the urban design for downtown Sparks,” Hillyard said. “We think we will add to the change (in Sparks) with dramatic improvements to this property.”
Internal demolition has started on the dilapidated building, and if all goes well, Greenstreet Communities will start reconstruction in 30 days, Hillyard said. The plan is to have the rental units open by March 2016.
Initial design plans for the old hotel have been approved by the city, Hillyard said, but there is a second round of comments that Hillyard expects will require a few standard adjustments to the proposed plan before final approval is given by city and county officials.
Proposed renderings reveal ultra-modern studios, one bed/one bath units and two bed/two bath units. For example, the one bed/one bath unit will convert two old hotel rooms into one unit. Three old hotel units will create the two bed/two bath unit.
The building will maintain an architectural design resembling the modern interpretation of pre-World War II found with the Sparks Theater, Hillyard said, and will include a residential storage area and bike locker in the rear of the property.
Hillyard said workers will gut the old hotel’s plumbing, electric, heating and cooling systems to make room for energy-efficient units. The plans call for a private outdoor space with a fire pit, kitchen and community garden for residents to enjoy. Every unit will have its own balcony, Hillyard said. Proposed unit prices are estimated to range in price from $600 for a studio layout to $1,200 a month for the two bedroom/two bath units that will be managed on site.
Hillyard said repurposing the old hotel was a natural, easy fit for Greenstreet Communities but renovating the 111,000-square-foot Bourbon Square Casino is a larger, more complex development. Hillyard said the company hopes to have more information on Bourbon’s redevelopment plan by mid-September.
Greenstreet Communities is one of two development firms actively involved in rebuilding downtown Sparks.
In July, Silverwing Development reached an agreement to buy eight city-owned parcels in downtown Sparks to build Fountainhouse at Victorian Square, a multi-family residential complex with 236 condo style apartments in 12 buildings with two buildings designed with commercial and retail space on the lower level.
J Carter Witt III of Silverwing Development told the 39 North Downtown group that building plans have been submitted to the city and they anticipate small adjustments before final approval.
“We are right on track for the fall,” Witt told the group.
Witt said he’s confident work on grading can begin without a final map by Sept. 14.
Witt said because of the area’s history, graders may find surprises once they dig below six inches of natural soil.
“They might find that eight feet under the soil is an old basement,” Witt said. “This is not just typical grading. We will have to go through the property and ensure that we dig it all out.”
Once grading is completed, concrete can be poured for foundations. But foundations can’t pass the compaction test if the ground is wet or frozen so Witt said timing is important to pour concrete before winter.
“We always expected to start grading in September and told the city that if we waited any longer we would lose five critical months in building,” Witt said. “If you miss the window, you’re basically waiting until spring time.”
In addition to completing the grading, the final map must be signed by all parties before underground utility lines can go in. Witt said obtaining the file map, a legal document defining the interior space of the property, requires approval by all parties involved before construction begins. Witt estimated the process may take six weeks. Agencies including the Truckee Meadow Water Authority, NV Energy, Washoe County Health Department, the city of Sparks, and fire and police officials must review the final map.
Witt said the company hopes to start foundations by mid-October for the clubhouse and five buildings on the northern parcel closest to the Sparks Theater and foundations on the southern parcel closer to Victorian Square by next spring or summer.
City Councilwoman Julia Ratti thanked the developers and the group of 15-20 business owners and residents gathered at the 39 North downtown meeting for their investment in community development.
“It’s very, very exciting to see viable projects come to the urban floor,” Ratti said. “In the next few years, the city hopes to see a growing resurgence in downtown Sparks, and you are part of that.”