Lower high rises | nnbusinessview.com

Lower high rises

John Seelmeyer

Boulevard South, the high-rise residential development proposed in South Meadows, has a new look.

The plan, which will be rolled out to the Reno Planning Commission this week, calls for the tallest of four proposed towers to be 360 feet, and the other towers to be 300 and 240 feet high. The new plan also calls for each tower to have a distinct style.

In the original plan, all four towers would have reached the 360-foot mark and would have been similar in appearance.

“We softened the look,” said Mark Kubinski , a partner in the Reno development firm MT3 Partners. The varied heights, he said, would provide a stepping-stone appearance as opposed to the uniformity of the initial proposal.

When completed a process that’s projected to take 10 to 12 years in a normal real estate market Boulevard South would include 1,726 condominium units, 70,000 square feet of retail space and 70,000 square feet of offices.

Overall density of the residential development remains unchanged in the new plan.

Along with the four high-rise towers, Boulevard South would include four low-rise buildings.

The project is planned near the northeast corner of Double R Boulevard and South Meadows Parkway.

Tami Topol, a partner in the development company, said the project’s backers believe that demand for condominiums in the Reno area and elsewhere is likely to rise steadily in coming decades.

“It’s happening all over,” she says.

Boulevard South would be targeted toward retiring Baby Boomers, empty-nesters and young professionals, she said. Family buyers and buyers of second homes aren’t expected to be a big part of the mix.

Pricing is projected to range from about $380,000 for a 750-square-foot unit to more than $3 million for condominiums of more than 3,000 square feet. A 1,200-square-foot condominium, described by Kubinski as a typical sized unit, would sell for about $550,000.

Parking spaces would be located in the core of the buildings, and parking would be part of each condominium purchase.

Kirkor Architects and Planners, headquartered in a suburb of Toronto, is the designer.

The developers aren’t unnerved by the currently weak housing market in northern Nevada. They figure the market is likely to have turned by 2011, the soonest they expect the first residents to move in.

And the project is designed to be built in nine phases that allow development to closely track demand and reduce the chances for the project to get too far ahead of sales.

“What banks like about this is that is phase-able,” says Kubinski.

MT3 Partners owns the 16.2-acre parcel after Topol and Kubinski spent the better part of a year assembling 11 parcels held by eight owners.

A key attraction to the property, they say, is its proximity to a 15-acre lake in South Meadows. The developers promise to landscape around the lake and provide facilities such as a pier for public use.

An upgraded water feature at the development is particularly important to attracting four waterfront restaurants that would be keystones of the project’s retail space.

As they move through the process of winning government approval for Boulevard South, the developers pitch it as the sort of “smart growth” initiative that elected officials have said they want to see.

They note that the development is in a growing employment center, with some 25,000 jobs in the South Meadows region, and municipal planners hope to bring housing closer to employment centers.

And they say Boulevard South may help businesses attract professional workers who are accustomed to similar lifestyles in larger cities.

A high-rise project also produces less sprawl than would a similar-sized traditional subdivision, Topol and Kubinski say, and places lower demand on water and other utility services.

Employment during the construction phases would total about 5,000 annually, the developers say.

If their plans are approved, MT3 Partners will fully landscape the now-barren land in the interchange of U.S. 395 and South Meadows Parkway, a couple of blocks west of their site.


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