Expecting Investment, Reno Targets Blighted Properties

As a nascent tech economy tests the waters, Reno's Vice Mayor spearheads an effort to equitably clear out blight and revisit the purpose of the city's downtown.
May 6, 2016, 7am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Reno may be on the verge of pushing beyond its "little Vegas" status, and city officials have recognized a new imperative: dealing with abandoned and blighted properties. Big tech firms have shown an interest in the area, and Reno seems eager to accommodate them.

Oscar Perry Abello writes, "Apple started a wave, moving in with a data center just outside Reno in 2012, part of its own plan to spend a billion dollars around Reno in the following decade. [...] Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, is building a $5 billion 'gigafactory' in the area."

Reno Vice Mayor Oscar Delgado, quoted heavily in the article, will work with landlords to ready properties for future investment. Said Delgado, "Our hope is once these properties have been cleared, we can get investors to meet with property owners and get some of these projects kicked off." He stresses efforts to bring under-engaged groups into the process. 

Another important angle is redefining downtown Reno away from its gaming roots so it can also serve residents. "'Our downtown was really developed for tourists,' Delgado admits. 'Now we're saying, what are some broader uses?'"

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Published on Friday, April 22, 2016 in Next City
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