RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The empty lot where Park Lane Mall used to be on Plumb Lane is getting a new life. One developer is hoping his project will help draw more people into the area.
For almost a decade, the lot across from Shoppers Square on Plumb Lane has been empty, just the ghost of Park Lane Mall. Many see the 45-acre lot as an eyesore, a blighted area.
Timing couldn't be better.
The Reno Urban Developers are planning to fill the deserted space into a multi-use building, equipped with office and living spaces.
"We definitely have a lack of housing, a lack of workforce housing as well and we're going to try to answer all those on a for sale and rent basis," said Chip Bowlby, managing partner for Reno Urban Developers.
It's early in the planning stages, but the plan is to keep it affordable and address a need expected to grow over the next few years.
"We need 5,000-9,000 homes a year and we're not anywhere close to that. Prices are going to soar, rents are soaring, vacancy is at an all time low," said Bowlby.
The developer has entered into escrow to buy the lot and plans to invest almost a half billion dollars into the project.
'It's really the economic edge that we're going to have as we diversify the economy and see communities come over from northern California," said Jenny Brekhus, Ward 1 Reno City councilwoman.
With Midtown developing just north of the lot, the unnamed project aims to raise the district's value.
"You have to have people to those restaurants, you have to have people go to those stores," said Bowlby. "I think this project lends itself to all of that."
"I hope they see something that the market is ready for something of that scale. I'm really optimistic on that," said Brekhus.
The project is set to break ground in early 2017.