Mall plans look great; now how about other outdated buildings? | NevadaAppeal.com

Mall plans look great; now how about other outdated buildings?

If the owners of the Carson Mall achieve their vision for the property – the vision shown on a drawing on the front page of Monday’s Appeal – Carson City will have taken a strong step forward aesthetically.

The drawing showed an interesting and welcoming mixture of modern facades with a courtyard-style gathering place outdoors. Indoors, the word “welcoming” fits as well, with a tall timber framework accenting the high-roofed building.

Might there be a better use for this prime 12-acre property, so close to the heart of downtown, as was suggested by a panel of national development experts who examined the city’s vision for downtown? We’re certain architects and planners could devise an urban village on this site that would be the envy of other Western cities, just as they could with nearly any other block in our city’s downtown area.

But what we’ll end up with there instead should be something the city can be proud of and a huge improvement on the depressingly outdated stature of the current mall. We only wish its owners had acted sooner, as this is the mall’s first major update since the building was constructed in 1964.

Indeed, the question now isn’t whether this is the best plan for the mall – it’s clearly going to be in the win category for the city – it’s why other property owners with outdated business properties around the city aren’t making a similar commitment to improvements, and thus to the city’s image and its future.

Several owners downtown have taken that step, but there’s little question it will take many more before the city can pull off anything resembling an image of a vibrant and modern community.

At least now they have a role model in the Carson Mall.

• This opinion represents the views of the Nevada Appeal editorial board.