RENO, Nev. (KOLO) As part of the revitalization of downtown Reno, Jacobs Entertainment Inc. has announced it is converting the Crest Inn Motel on 4th Street into new residences. The new space will be called Renova Flats and is expected to be ready to rent in early spring 2019.
"We want people to feel safe and comfortable when they come, so everything will be completely renovated," Jonathan Boulware of Jacobs Entertainment says.
The $11 million project will have 46 newly-renovated units available. The company tells us they will be rented at market rate.
Boulware says they will also be designating some of those units to affordable housing for seniors, but did not specify how many units that will be.
Mayor Hillary Schieve says she is committed to making sure people living in motels are not taken advantage of, and that the units provide livable conditions.
"For those that are taking advantage of people it is absolutely unacceptable, and that's why that motel ordinance came into place and also the motel interdiction team, so that we can interact with children that might need assistance," Schieve says.
One room at the Crest Inn was being rented by three adults for $750 per month.
"A lot of these motels, yes, they serve a purpose, but it is not okay for them not to be up to the standards to be livable," Schieve says.
Most of the folks living in the motel were rehoused with help from Jacobs Entertainment. The company helped 38 of 42 find new housing. Four were evicted for breaking Jacobs' code of conduct.
"Unfortunately four of those folks chose not to abide by the code of conduct and so we had to evict them and so even when we went to that point we gave every opportunity to say, are you sure, we will help you," Boulware says.