According to these staff reports and meeting details, Jacobs Entertainment is seeking to enter into a development agreement with the City of Reno. The presentation is to be heard April 14 at the Reno City Council Meeting, an opportunity for City Council to provide guidance on the agreement in-process.
The development agreement concerns the Reno Neon Line project, encompassing much of 4th Street. Here's a link to a map of properties Jacobs Entertainment owns (that's a City of Reno link)
Here's a link to the proposed development agreement.
Jacob Entertainment's concept for the area includes renovation of the Sands Casino, 2,000-3,000 residential units, a 6,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, artwork, and green space, convention and other entertainment and retail venues. The development agreement would span 20 years as proposed, meaning Jacobs wouldn't be attached to any specific timeline of development other than the 20 years. It looks as though City Staff recommends Jacobs Entertainment insert a more specific timeline than initially included.
Terms of the development agreement include:
- Sale prices for City owned properties discounted from ±$3,060,000 to $50,000;
- Creating a new redevelopment district (and removingproperties from existing districts) with 40 percent of future tax increment earmarked for the Developer;
- Additional financial subsidies related to building permit fees, sewer connection fees, sewer credits, pedestrian amenity requirements, and residential construction tax; and
- Design allowances related to area identification signs, streetlights, Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) projects, artwork, skyways, and street closures.
You can read all of the terms and requests of the development agreement by clicking here.
It looks as though City staff is looking for guidance on the development agreement terms and features, and not necessarily approval on April 14.
Proposed suggestions from City Staff to the Reno City Council include:
- General support for the Neon Line District concept and a Development Agreement that enhances the feasibility of coordinated redevelopment in this important area;
- Establishment of a timeline and milestones for phased project development over the next 20 years, whereby the subsidies would phase out if incremental redevelopment of the area does not materialize;
- Removal of provisions for the subsidized sale of City-owned properties, or a clear definition of projects and development timelines demonstrating that the subsidies are legally permissible and would be offset by public benefits resulting from near term development of the sites;
- Removal or refinement of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) proposal to address existing obligations and prevent negative impacts on other portions of Redevelopment Districts 1 and 2;
- Removal of provisions addressing matters that cannot be modified by this Development Agreement, or do not require a development agreement to implement; and
- Other refinements as necessary to conform to applicable legal standards.
Due to the significance and complexity of this proposal, staff is seeking preliminary Council direction for these topics and other topics to address in future negotiations with the Developer. But this gives you an idea of where Jacobs Entertainment is headed with his development projects, what he'd like from the city as part of this agreement.
It would be fantastic if the Neon Line District came to be in Downtown Reno! With the possibility of 2,000 to 3,000 residential units that are in dire need at the moment, it looks to have greater appeal. Further adding to the arts and culture amenities that the city has to offer. Anyone that has had the opportunity to stroll down the recently renovated Midtown district during a warm Spring day can witness for themselves a great shift in the ambiance and attractiveness of the area. I, like the city council, are skeptical that firm dates have not been set with the initial proposal but understand that if it is not even feasible, then what is the point of pressing on with increased sunk costs. I look forward to following the developments on this blog and thank you for your contributions!