Sparks, NV - Excitement is building in Sparks over a plan that could bring more business into Victorian Square. One of the owners of The Cantina restaurant wants to tear down a couple of unused properties there and build up some brand new ones. That has people in the area already envisioning a more hip food district.
Italian, Mexican, even "Victorian."
You can see why this colorful row of eateries in Victorian Square attracts crowds. But the owner of Cantina Los Tres Hombres says it could be better.
"We have a really great opportunity to take advantage of all of the resources out here," says Justin Quinton, owner of Cantina Los Tres Hombres. He's owned the restaurant for four years. "It's been great!"
But about a year ago, he wanted to know what was going on with the two places next door. When he asked the City of Sparks, he found out it didn't really have a plan. That's when he started to come up with one.
"You're looking at a building that's just sitting there and I guess I see the potential in something that could be really great," he says. "And I would love to be a part of that process and have an established restaurant here that could be a part of the next Gas Lamp District or something of the like."
On Monday, the Sparks City Council granted Quinton an exclusive negotiation agreement - basically giving him the go-ahead to do market research and bring back a plan to redevelop and use the space. He's got four months to bring back a proposal.
"I think it would be a good idea. I know I would come here more often if there were more places to come and eat, kind of more of a friendly atmosphere," says Cody Lee, a Reno resident, who was visiting Victorian Square. "The City of Reno is growing and it's growing by leaps and bounds. And I think Sparks could do well to catch up."
"More business will bring more business," says Quinton. "I think if you put it in people's mind that this is almost like a little food and entertainment district.. This will hopefully be where they go."
City of Sparks spokesperson Adam Mayberry stresses that this plan is all in the very early stages. He says any proposal Justin Quinton comes up with would have to be approved by the city's redevelopment agency. But if it all works out, Quinton is hoping to get those new businesses in by May of 2013.