Last Tuesday, community members and construction developers gathered at the 325 Harbor Cove building at the Sparks Marina in a publicly announced meeting. With appetizers and drinks donated by Cherry Bomb Catering, honey lavender lemonade, and Great Basin Brewing 39-degree North Blonde Ale, representatives from Silverwing Development, LandCap Investment Partners and the City of Sparks talked about future projects designed to improve the City of Sparks.
Silverwing Development is still on track to start construction on the new mixed-use C Street garage/10-story apartment structure to begin in May.
“We’re first starting demolition to support the podium foundation above the garage,” says Silverwing Development President J Carter Witt III. “It will be a 22-month building process subject to labor issues and weather,” he added.
Wanting to bring the 1920’s-30’s art deco theme back into Victorian Square, the structure currently called “The Deco” is the size of a football field and will feature 209 parking units and a mix of studio 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom units and penthouse suites along with a clubhouse, gym, member lounges, and other amenities.
The Deco is in the same vicinity as Silverwing’s Bridges apartment building (it is looking to start leasing its second tower at the end of May), 16-unit retail complex, and the movie theater which is currently being renovated for an expected opening in late June.
“We’re trying to make every project in Victorian Square fit together, yet look different and interesting,” Witt says.
Regarding parking, the development company is planning for an increased number of cars to access the living quarters and special events in Victorian Square, but the number of spaces around the restaurants will stay around 100.
“The only time (the parking lots) are fully occupied is for special events and we can’t plan for that,” Witt says.
“39 North will try continue to try to incentivize people to take Rideshare; we’re still lucky to have free parking,” says 39 North Board Member Angela Handler.
Next, LandCap Investment Partners Managing Partner Jeff Holbrook gave an update on the Waterfront at the Marina project. Like the Silverwing Deco development in Victorian Square, LandCap is building a 5-story mixed-use parking structure/apartment rental complex in the Sparks Marina. It also owns the 325 Harbor Cove building and plans to renovate it to include a restaurant and retail businesses. A temporary leasing office for Waterfront will open later this month.
Sparks City Councilman, RSCVA board vice chairman, and Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada board member Ed Lawson also gave an update on roadway development in Sparks.
“We’re working on a grant to repave the way from USA Parkway to the highway which would cut the commute time in half. All of the traffic is north of I-80 where all of the affordable housing is,” Lawson says and notes that he expects Sparks to grow rapidly in the next several years.
“We’re the only place to go, we’re the only place that has water,” Lawson says. “That road will be a game-changer. In my mind I have a vision that Sparks will grow all the way to Fernley.”
He says that Sparks is faced with a tax problem right now as costs of fire and police are going up as home values are decreasing.
“We got lucky with the marijuana tax, though. We’re budgeting $1.5 million for it but my guess is that it will be $1.7 million we receive,” he says. Lawson also noted that some Golden Eagle fields are nearing the end of their lifespan and it costs about $1 million to replace each field.
“We receive a $25 million regional economic boost from softball tournaments, so I think that investing $1 million per field is a good deal,” he says.
One audience member questioned Lawson on a rumor that is going around about the City selling its water rights to USA Parkway.
“We’re not selling our water rights, we’re negotiating more of a trade. We have old technology in our sewage plants- we actually have little bugs that clean our water and in the winter when they’re not as active we end up with more nitrogen in it. It is a 2-year process before anything happens,” he says.
The public meeting concluded with 39 North calling for volunteers and sponsorships to help with its various events it has planned in Victorian Square this year, including the Sierra Nevada Lavender & Honey Festival and 39 North Pole. For more information about these events, visit http://www.39northdowntown.com/.