Golden Spike project placed on hold |

Golden Spike project placed on hold

Amanda Hammon

A sign hanging outside the Washington Street Station facing Carson Street reads “Now leasing.”

But the sign hangs in front of a partially demolished building that has been vacant for 15 years.

Progress on the Washington Street Station has ground to a halt, but within four weeks work should begin again on the Golden Spike renovation project.

Redevelopment on the Spike building started in September and earnest demolition began in October. Plans were to turn the building into a Victorian/Western themed retail-office center with more than 20,000 square feet of office space.

Within the last month, technical details, design changes and structural problems halted work.

Project architect Art Hannifan of Hannafin/Darney Architects said as demolition on the project progressed, several unexpected structural problems were uncovered.

“We’ve been going through some refinements and detailing of structural aspects,” Hannifan said. “We knew it would be like this. Renovation projects never go in a straight line, especially when you start with an old building. I want to stress there are no indications that progress won’t continue.”

The design of the building has changed slightly as well. Fewer windows will be added to the north face of the building, and metal roofs above the sidewalks will be replaced with awnings.

Property co-owner Tom Johnson said progress was also stalled by easement and right-of-way issues.

A few feet of the front of the building facing Carson Street is in the Nevada Department of Transportation’s right-of-way and there are some other right-of-way issues on Curry Street. The design for the building was changed slightly to avoid the Carson Street area.

Johnson said he is also seeking an easement from the state for a small area south of the building in the shared parking lot between the Washington Street Station and the former First Interstate Bank building, now part of the Nevada State Museum.

“We’re bordered on three sides by city streets and one side by state land,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of things to fight through. We’ve spent a lot of money on this, and we’re not backing off.”

Hannifan said as much work as could be done under the demolition permit was completed.

“These are administrative details that need to be totally resolved by all parties before we can get a building permit,” Hannifan added.

Despite the building’s lackluster appearance, Johnson boasts of several prospective tenants for the building, including office, restaurant and retail clients. Because he is still working on the administrative issues, he has no date for completion for the project and therefore no signed leases.

Johnson, owner of Gold Dust Commercial Associates, co-owns the property with John Serpa Jr. through Carson Cinema Group LLC.