On Monday Dec. 9, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve gathered together media and local developers to discuss her 1,000 Homes in 120 Days initiative, now just past its halfway point.
“I am so incredibly thrilled,” Schieve said. “This program—we never thought that we would get to this point. We have put almost 1,600 units into the market. Sixteen-hundred, and our goal was 1,000. … Now, I think we’ve got to up it. You know how competitive I am. I want 2,000—2,000, did you hear me?”
After asking for a round of applause for the developers, the mayor asked several of them to speak about their projects.
Blake Smith S3 Development was the first of the developers to speak about a 302-unit project his company is working on.
“We have an exciting project that’s located on Keystone and Fifth,” he said. “We are actually in the design stage of it at this point, design schematics. We are actually struggling quite a bit, and this program, I have to to give kudos to it. … It is helping us move the project forward at this point. … The pricing and the cost in this marketplace is really stymieing so many projects at this point. And this program that you’ve introduced is really allowing us to get over these hurdles.”
Projects approved under the program will receive deferred impact fees for costs they normally pay upfront, including sewer connection and traffic impact fees. Other approved projects include a 208-unit senior housing complex and a housing complex attached to the Freight House District at the Reno Aces ballpark. According to Assistant City Manager Bill Thomas, about 120 units of the 1,600 that have been proposed and approved under the project, 120 qualify as affordable housing.
“This is absolutely incredible. As many of you know, my initiative was really to create infill in opportunity zones—to build up and not out,” Schieve said. “We know, we’re facing such a huge challenge when it comes to housing. We have to create housing of all types. That’s why I’m very proud of it, because a lot of people come to me and say, ‘Mayor Schieve, why not just affordable housing?’ But we know that that doesn’t work. You have to create all kinds of housing when it comes to economics.”
The Reno City Council will vote next week on whether or not to continue accepting proposed projects despite the fact that the program has exceeded its original goal of 1,000 housing units.