State officials' plan to put a steel warehouse just south of the Legislative Building in the midst of Carson City's redevelopment district has raised a few eyebrows among downtown boosters.
Lorne Malkiewich, director of the Legislative Council Bureau, insists, however, the downtown addition is temporary -- defined as five years, maybe 10 -- and will actually spruce up an area marked before by rundown apartments.
"The property was deteriorating; it was in bad shape," he said. "We're going to replace it with something that looks nice."
Malkiewich said the 9,600-square-foot building warehouse will look nicer than a regular warehouse with a stucco-like exterior and landscaping similar to that found on the Capitol grounds.
"We know it's just going to be temporary," he said. "One of the reasons we want it to looks good is because we don't know when (it will be removed.)"
The 2001 Legislature approved the $1 million purchase of the old Capital Apartments, which were to be renovated into office and storage space. However, Malkiewich said remodeling the buildings was impossible, and two of the four apartment buildings were torn down. The remaining buildings will be demolished as well.
Purchase of the lot between Fall and Plaza Streets and Sixth and Seventh streets gives the state a large, L-shaped parcel between Carson and Stewart streets on which the state plans to eventually construct a large office building, Malkiewich said.
Rather than leaving the parcel empty, the Legislative Counsel Bureau decided to build a 9,600-square-foot storage building to replace a storage unit on Highway 50 East. It's five miles away and moving it closer to the Legislature would not only save state employees time retrieving items from storage, it would also save the state $55,000 to $60,000 a year.
The $400,000 warehouse would pay for itself in about eight years, Malkiewich said.
City redevelopment officials were reluctant to criticize the project, but Supervisor Robin Williamson said it isn't exactly what redevelopment officials have in mind for Carson's core. The Redevelopment Authority and its citizen committee are working to draw different types of businesses -- office buildings as well as residential elements -- to downtown.
"We tried to express our concerns that it's nothing like what we're trying to achieve in the downtown area," Williamson said. "We've said we prefer a different type of building there. This is something that we're going to see as a temporary thing, try to make the best of it and go forward and work with the state on other projects."
Malkiewich, who serves on a city redevelopment task force, said the state's ultimate plans for the parcel -- an office building and parking lot -- complement the city's downtown planning process.
"The best we can do is make the neighborhood look nice," Malkiewich said.
The Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday will discuss rezoning the property and approving a special use permit for the warehouse's construction.
If you go:
What: Carson City Planning Commission
When: 3:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Community Center Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.