B of A building looking for facelift money

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Carson City's biggest "skyscraper" office building may be getting a new look.

The Bank of America building at the corner of William and Roop streets is up for design review in the owner's bid to receive as much as $100,000 in development funding from Carson City.

Building owner Madalena C. Farrow is seeking the money for a planned improvement to the building's 1970's facade. If the project goes through, she said, it would improve one of the more prominent parcels in Carson City.

"It's getting very old," she said. "I've talked to people who have been in that building for 10 and 11 years who say its been bad for that long."

Farrow and husband Roy, who have lived in Carson City for 11 years, bought the building last year for $2.1 million, according to city records. A long-overdue remodel of the existing building is the second step in the couple's long-term plans for the parcel. An overhaul of the antiquated heating, air conditioning and lighting systems is set to start as early as next week.

If the project is approved by the Carson City Redevelopment Authority Citizen's Committee at Wednesday's meeting and the authority board (to which the advisory board reports), planning with Carson City architect Art Hannafin and builder Metcalf Construction could begin immediately, she said. Otherwise, the project would have to be delayed while Farrow tries to secure stronger tenants.

Farrow said the project could cost as much as $500,000. The maximum allowable amount for redevelopment funding is $100,000, or 20 percent of the cost, whichever is lower.

If the remodel goes well, and demand persists for the office spaces, Farrow said her company may expand to the east end of the parking lot with an additional four-story building and a two-story parking structure. The couple's dream project is to add a penthouse residence on the building's roof.

Currently, almost half of the building is occupied by Bank of America. Carson City lawyers as well as federal offices are also located inside. Farrow said the building's drab decor has made securing some tenants difficult. Several offices have been empty for years.

The Farrows also own several buildings in Carson City, including the small office behind the Carson City Library. The couple moved to Carson City with their three children 11 years ago from Portola Valley, a San Francisco suburb.

"Carson City has been great to us and we feel like we want to give something back with this project," Farrow said.


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