Panel weighing shift in redevelopment

Sprawling South Carson Street has undergone significant changes during the past decade, and the main reason is the redevelopment plan implemented there to keep the capital's auto dealerships from moving to Douglas County.

Now, city officials say it's time to move beyond the car dealerships and lay out the next steps for the corridor south of Stewart Street.

The redevelopment district was formed in 2004, according to City Planner Lee Plemel, "when specifically auto dealers were considering the concept of an auto mall in Douglas County."

The South Carson Redevelopment Plan was written specifically to keep them here.

That resulted in construction of the new Honda, Subaru and Toyota dealerships and a major remodel of the Cadillac/Buick/Chevrolet dealership.

With the new dealerships built and operating, and an Auto Zone store under construction, he said, "It doesn't look, in the near term, like we need to facilitate more auto dealerships."

So letters went out to all property owners in the area, asking them where redevelopment should go from here. The Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee will conduct its first public meeting to discuss the issues Monday.

The original district extended from the junction of Carson and Stewart streets south to the Costco store. They decided to include the former K-Mart at the north end of town in this update of the plan, because it's such a big, vacant building.

Plemel said city planners and the authority are open to any and all ideas. They also are suggesting several strategies to include in the plan, including offering incentives and subsidies to help lure business to vacant big-boxes such as the K-Mart.

He said it includes working with property owners to address impediments to private investment, such as unrealistic land costs and blighted properties.

Planners suggest looking into potential expanded housing opportunities as well, including affordable and entry-level housing.

It also envisions creation of a business improvement district as a tool to enhance the commercial and business environment.

Plemel said that among the challenges the area faces is that many of the parcels of land are very deep, but with little frontage on Carson Street, which may require consolidating the parcels to make room for larger projects.

He said the rewrite of the plan isn't designed for the short term, since much of the redevelopment will have to wait for more economic recovery and for some of the bond money used to help the car dealers is freed up for reinvestment.

"There's not much redevelopment funds available now - about $75,000 a year - but as redevelopment pays off its debt, there'll be more funds available," Plemel said.

The goal of the letters - and all residents who wish to participate - is to ask what the new focus of the redevelopment plan should be.

For additional information, call the Office of Business Development at 887-2101.

If you go:

What: Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee

When: 5:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Community Center, Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.

Comments can also be submitted in writing to the Office of Business Development, 108 E. Proctor St., Carson City, NV 89701, or

Electronically to


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