Committee approves $100,000 for Garibaldi’s expansion |

Committee approves $100,000 for Garibaldi’s expansion

Amanda Hammon, Appeal Staff Writer

A downtown Carson City property owner promised his expansion plans will include amenities not found elsewhere in the capital.

Tom Johnson said Wednesday a courtyard planned with an expansion of Garibaldi’s Italian restaurant will be “one of the nicest outside dining areas in Carson City.”

“It’s totally protected from the street noise and west winds,” he said. You can look up at the Capitol dome. It’s going to be a very attractive spot, and I think it will be well received.”

Johnson and his wife, Linda, requested $100,000 in redevelopment incentive funding for the courtyard, exterior improvements to the Sweetland Building, and an overhaul of the building’s 4,500-square-foot bottom floor, home to Garibaldi’s and formerly, Nick’s Pizza. The city’s Redevelopment Authority Citizen’s Committee approved the project Wednesday.

“This is the exact type of project we built our success on,” committee member Joe McCarthy said. “These are the kinds of things we’re encouraging the community to invest in. This fits like a glove to me.”

The project will allow Garibaldi’s to expand into the bulk of the the building’s downstairs. Exterior facade changes include the addition of a window on the corner of Procter and Carson Streets that will allow passersby to “see people sitting there drinking wine and having a good time,” Johnson said.

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Johnson said he hasn’t really marketed the building’s top floor because the building needs an elevator, which is included in this project and will open up 4,500-square-feet of office space. The courtyard will provide an outdoor dining area for Garibaldi’s and a future Italian sandwich and pizza shop.

The Johnson’s purchased the Sweetland Building, which was built in 1929, in 1992. Johnson said he’s taken a Band-aid approach to keeping the building in good shape, and without redevelopment funding, he wouldn’t be able to add the courtyard or elevator to the project.

The project is estimated at $500,000, and should get started in July, Johnson said. Garibaldi’s will be closed down for a short period during construction.

Linda Johnson, vice-chairwoman of the redevelopment citizen’s committee, was not at the meeting where the issue was discussed, and committee member Art Hannifan, whose architectural firm is designing the project, excused himself from the discussion.

The Redevelopment Authority offers incentives for rehabilitation projects on downtown buildings up to 20 percent of the project costs. Johnson has received redevelopment funding before. As a part owner of the Washington Street Station, Johnson and co-owner John Serpa received a $100,000 incentive grant in 1999 to refurbish the old Golden Spike building.