Environmental assessments and mixed-income housing are part of a plan by the City of Reno to leverage $600,000 in federal grant dollars. Three projects along the train tracks through town are proposed to be developed into more than 1,200 new residential units and commercial and office space.
“Reno’s economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. “These much-needed funds come at an opportune time and will help our City Council continue revitalizing downtown and our urban core.”
The city is getting the $600,000 from an EPA Brownfields grant, which is designed to help underserved and economically disadvantaged communities clean up contaminated properties and return them to use.
The city expects the funds to be leveraged for more than $350 million in new developments with the $600,000 focused on environmental assessments of properties.
The city is focusing on the railroad corridor between the Lincoln Highway and Truckee River stretching from about Idlewild Park to the I-80/395 spaghetti bowl.
Identified projects include:
- Workforce housing on about 4 acres east of the Aces baseball stadium between the Truckee River and train tracks, which is anticipated to be used for a not-for-profit developer to build 200 housing units. Funds will be used for an environmental assessment. A private party owns 2.8 acres and the city owns 4.7, for a total of 7.5 acres. Of that, about 5.5 acres could be developed.
- A 7-acre development downtown at the Aces parking lot south of the railroad tracks. The city will work with a developer on a partnership to develop the properties. The city owns 1.3 acres and a developer owns 6 acres on both sides of the railroad track.
- Workforce housing on 15 acres on both sides of the train tracks west of downtown. Funds will be used for an environmental assessment and a contamination cleanup plan. Some of the property will be used for senior housing, with the rest to be determined.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.