A plan to transform South Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

A plan to transform South Carson City

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Attorneys John W. Griffin, left, and Bob Crowell and Casino Fandango General Manager Steve Forester, right, talk about the casino's expansion from the top of the parking garage on Wednesday.

The next major step in Casino Fandango’s $60 million expansion project starts June 12 with $1 million in road improvements on South Curry Street.

In less than two years, commuters on South Carson Street will look over at the 48,000-square-foot Casino Fandango and see a chain hotel in front of the parking garage and a new 10-screen movie theater on the hill directly above the casino, which will also have another 10,000-square feet built on to it.

With traffic expected to increase exponentially with the addition of a movie theater, Carson Gaming, the land owner and developer, will spend $1 million to improve the section of South Curry Street from Koontz Lane to Clearview Drive.

Steve Forester, general manager of Casino Fandango, said this is a four-week project. Contractor Metcalf Builders will add curbs and sidewalks, landscaping and add a turn lane into the future movie theater.

A portion of Voltaire Canyon Road that curves into Voltaire Street and an undeveloped section of Clearview Drive will also be improved. In total, the road project is about half a mile of work.

Carson Gaming, based in Las Vegas, will break ground on the $11 million, 41,000-square-foot, 10-screen, digital multiplex theater in July. Galaxy Theatres plans to open the 2,000-seat theater the following year, in time to debut the next “Harry Potter” movie.

Carson Gaming bought 30 acres off South Curry Street and Voltaire Canyon Road in October for $2.8 million from the VanSickle Trust.

Project planners have submitted several permit applications to the city, one because a corner of the movie theater encroaches on multi-family apartment zoning, another for the size of the development’s new 600-space parking lot off South Curry Street and Clearview Drive. A pedestrian bridge spanning South Curry Street will connect the theater, parking garage and casino.

Fandango’s $11 million, four-story hotel will add another 100 rooms to the Carson City market.

“We haven’t yet decided if it will be a Hampton, Hilton or a Marriott,” Forester said this week. “But having the name assures the quality and reservations.”

Developers have also announced plans to build high-density affordable housing off South Curry Street, but the structure and timeline is still fluid, Forester said. Up to 184 homes has been mentioned, but developers could also go into duplexes and triplexes.

“In looking at the Carson City market, it needs affordable homes,” he said. “We plan to address that need.”

No telling where the market is going to be in a few years, the price range for homes is hard to guess, said John Griffin, an attorney for Carson Gaming. Some of the homes could be 1,600-1,800 square feet.

“Higher density use translates into better affordability,” he said, despite the hillside location with an expansive view of the Eagle Valley.

The homes will all be built on 22 acres zoned for multi-family residential, which is below the city’s restriction for hillside development, said Bob Crowell, an attorney for Carson Gaming.

The steepest grade averages 6.5-7 percent, which is below the city’s 15 percent requirement for hillside development.

Plans for the area include abandoning a portion of Voltaire Canyon Road that goes through the site.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.