The City Takes Aim On Blighted Properties

RENO The Golden West Motel once welcomed visitors to Reno, but time and a changing economy passed it by long ago.

For years now it’s been an eyesore, one of the first sights some visitors see and visible example of the blighted properties that dot the downtown area and our neighborhoods.

With finances improving, the city has set aside money to address the problem and there seems no better place to start than right here.

“I think it showcases basically our front yard and Virginia Street is one of our main corridors,” says Councilman Oscar Delgado. “So people will start to see changes. It’s a great place to start.”

So, the city will move to declare the old motel as a problem property and tear it down.

Delgado says the city wants to be proactive, addressing blight and stimulating development with or without owners cooperation.

“We’re more than happy to work with you,” he says, “but you have to want to as well. If you’re not willing to, then there are some legal ways we can get there. Hopefully we don’t have to go that route. We all want see Reno live to its potential and that’s to have a great downtown and great neighborhoods of course.”

In this case the owners, Northern Nevada Urban Development is cooperating and in fact, has long hand their own plans for the property.

This lot and a number in the neighborhood around it have been slated for the long delayed Tessera Project, a planned development including hotel, retail, housing and office space designed to attract high tech energy interests and provide a bridge between the university and the downtown.

It’s been on the drawing board for years, but apparently still has life.

“Hopefully this will help kick start that a little bit sooner,” says Delgado.

The cost of the demolition would become a lien on the property paid back when it’s developed. Then, the thinking goes, the city would move on to other derelict properties, they know are out there.

In fact, Delgado says they’d like to hear from the community.

“Reach out, let us know about any problem problem properties in your neighborhood so we can take a look at them.”

He says residents can report any problem properties by calling 334-4636.

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