Buyer reveals plans for Ormsby House in Carson City
A proposal from the potential buyer of the Ormsby House further details his ideas for the historic downtown property, including seven floors of residences with medical care, closure of one block of Curry Street and, in the future, a mixed-use apartment building next door.
“Comparable or exceeding any five-star venue in Nevada, Joshua’s House would feature large one- and two-bedroom suites, both furnished and unfurnished, five main floor restaurants and retail space with meeting rooms, and the restoration of the elegant staircase leading to the grand ballroom for all special events, conventions, concerts, plays and community activities,” reads the application submitted by Joshua’s Community, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit run by Joseph D’Angelo.
The application is for a major project review by Carson City departments, including building, transportation and fire, which is mandatory for projects in commercial buildings exceeding 50,000 square feet. The goal, according to the city application form, is to speed up the permitting process and produce “final plans that are already in compliance with current city code requirements.”
The property owner on the application is Cubix Ormsby LCC, but D’Angelo told the Nevada Appeal last week that the property is in escrow and he plans to close on it Oct. 17 for $15 million.
D’Angelo’s Joshua House includes restaurants, a culinary arts school and a large public gathering area on the 44,232 square-foot first floor. The 41,077 square-foot second floor features a showroom, fitness center, offices, guest rooms, and a childcare facility.
The remaining floors are each 12,470 square feet. The third floor plan calls for 13 hotel rooms and two one-bedroom hotel suites as well as offices and a pharmacy. Floors four through eight each feature 25 studios and two one-bedroom suites while floors nine and 10 include 17 studios and six one-bedroom suites — all with “concierge care,” a term usually defined as medical care provided by physicians on retainer.
The process going forward will depend on that definition and the services being provided.
The Ormsby House is at the corner of 5th and Carson streets in the downtown mixed-use zone. The zone does not allow “congregate care” either by right, meaning without permit, or by condition, with a special use permit.
The application uses the term congregate care once, in the section estimating traffic impact, saying congregate care would generate roughly 421 trips or 33 peak hour trips.
If the floors of suites with concierge service is deemed congregate care, which is broadly defined in the Carson City municipal code, then the project may need master plan and zoning map amendments or a zoning text amendment, which must be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
“Until city staff has a chance to review the application and meet with the applicant, I don’t want to come to any conclusions regarding the project,” said Lee Plemel, director, Community Development. “I think the (major project review) is fulfilling its role in this case in vetting the project so the applicant can understand what the development requirements will be, and the city has an opportunity to get clarifications from the applicant, as needed.”
The review meeting between staff and the applicant is set for Oct. 1.
Also, according to the blueprints drafted by Frame Architecture Inc., the project will be requesting abandonment of Curry Street between 7th and 6th streets for use as a pedestrian plaza, which would also require approval.
The blueprints also include a plan not outlined in the application for a future project: a three-story, mixed-use, 15,000 square-foot commercial building, including 28 apartments, on the adjacent land between the Ormsby House and ARCO gas station property, which is included in the sale. On the parcel with the gas station, which will be demolished, the plan proposes a hydroponic wave pool and pedestrian area.