Full house turns out to hear Nugget developer | NevadaAppeal.com

Full house turns out to hear Nugget developer

Sandi Hoover
shoover@nevadaappeal.com

P3 Development was introduced to the community Monday night as the master developer for the Nugget Economic Development Project.

P3 Chief Executive Officer Rick Oshinski told members of the Carson Nugget Development Committee that the public-private partnership is between Carson City, P3 and the Nugget (Adams’ Foundation).

“It’s a process, not a product,” Oshinski said, “and tonight is the first part of the process.”

Oshinski assured the committee and the standing-room-only crowd at the community center that both sides in the partnership share equally in risk and opportunities.

“No way would my company ever even attempt to build something we couldn’t pay for,” he said.

He said P3 has already begun working with locals such as Art Hannafin Design Associates, Shaheen Beauchamps Builders, Resource Concepts Inc. and the Builder’s Association of Western Nevada to identify and use local talent.

“We have very strict quality standards and we work on a guaranteed maximum price basis,” Oshinski said.

Oshinski emphasized that the project is in the preliminary stage and that the program as it develops will address three key questions: What would we like to build, what can we build, and what can we afford to build?

“No, a deal has not been struck. In theory, it looks doable, but theory is not enough to finance it,” he said.

Project proponents have said they would like the 9-acre development to include a knowledge and discovery library, business and technology incubator, digital media lab, central outdoor plaza, public transit hub, parking structure, office space, retail space, entertainment venue, residential space and possibly a hotel/conference center.

Mike Courtney, president of P3, will be project manager. He said he expects to have a plan to show to the community for input by the end of June. City Manager Larry Werner said a public workshop likely will be scheduled at the end of June.

During the next 90 days, Courtney said he will develop a concept site plan for the elements that have been identified for the project area and a detailed cost analysis and revenue forecast for both the private and public sector.

Once the committee has had an opportunity to analyze the plans and modify them if needed, it will go before the board of supervisors for approval, Courtney said. He estimated a timeline of between three and three-and-a-half years to complete the project.

“Construction costs and money are extremely low right now,” he said, which makes building the project a desirable component at this time.

Werner said this preliminary phase of the work will cost $165,000 – $75,000 will come from the Redevelopment Authority, $75,000 from the foundation, and the remainder from the library. Money from redevelopment and the library will come from the 2009-10 budgets.

Part of the 14-member committee’s responsibility will be to oversee points of the development agreement when it comes forward for preliminary review, Werner said.

Courtney said a final presentation should be ready around the end of August.

Committee member Dwight Millard said from what he’s heard, “people are afraid we’ll be left holding the bag.”

He also offered a suggestion.

“If we could get the steam train to this project, we would have a diamond,” he said.

Phyllis Patton, another member of the committee, said that the draw for the development area would be the knowledge and discovery library.

“The (present) library draws 300,000 a year. Those people will shop and come downtown,” Patton said.

The public also had an opportunity to weigh in with concerns and kudos.

Sam Ward was worried about the promise of jobs made by project proponents.

“We could use the temporary construction jobs, but what happens after that?” he said.

And Day Williams, a candidate for supervisor, shared Ward’s concerns, saying he was “dubious about the thousands of jobs” that proponents say could be created.

“Be careful what you sign,” he cautioned.

Another resident, however, Pat Sanderson, praised the foresight of all concerned in forwarding the plan.

“This is one of the finest projects I’ve ever seen come along and get handed to the people of Carson City,” he said.

He thanked Nugget owner Steve Neighbors and the Adams family for their donations and making the opportunity available to the city.

“Ignore the politicians and the chamber, and help the people of Northern Nevada,” Sanderson said.