Mondo condos

Jay-Dee Akes

Photo By David Robert

Don’t feel bad if you mistake The Montage on West Second Street for an art gallery. It has the space, the warm lighting, the airy feel of an art gallery. But inside, they’re hawking condos, not artwork (only don’t try telling the sales staff the modern design of their units isn’t art).

A tour of the upstairs tower resident model showed a stylish, hipster, one-bedroom apartment with hardwood floors, a sage-colored sliding glass door separating the bedroom from the living room, a funky rectangular bathroom sink and a balcony overlooking the city. It sells to the tune of about $300,000.

It’s one example of what’s available to potential residents once The Montage condominiums go up and the Golden Phoenix Hotel and Casino is restructured.

Sales gallery manager Jay-Dee Akes says there is potential for art to come to The Montage gallery, as well.

What is The Montage?

The Golden Phoenix is the property we (Chicago-based L-3 Development) have purchased. We’re going to convert it into five different types of residential homes: Tower residents, lofts, row houses, terrace town homes, as well as penthouse units.

How would you describe the style of the units?

Contemporary, clean, modern design. But truly, folks can design anyway they like.

When will they be ready to occupy?

June of 2007 is what we’re slating. Currently, we’re just emptying out the Golden Phoenix building.

When would construction take place?

I’m thinking we could start as early as February. It’s pretty exciting—especially for those who have already reserved—to see the building actually starting to come down.

How many people have reserved a unit?

We have 380 units. So far, we are about 50 percent reserved.

What are the price ranges?

They range from $250,000 on up.

To … ?

Well, some of the units go all the way up to $800,000. Once the penthouses become available, we’ll have pricing for them.

So that $800,000 doesn’t include the penthouses?

Correct. The penthouse pricing hasn’t been released yet. But let me tell you, it looks like the penthouses are going to be almost completely glass. Being on the 23rd and 24th floor of the building and having that panoramic view of the Sierras, I can’t wait.

How long has the company been working toward this point?

Probably about 8 months.

That’s all?

Yeah, can you believe it? Fernando Leal, the managing partner of L-3 Development, saw the Golden Phoenix was listed for sale. He flew into Reno, took a look, fell in love with the city, made a deal. We began taking reservations in mid-October.

I take it I’m not the only one who mistook this for an art gallery?

No, but I can only imagine that the people who are showing an interest in The Montage are all people who would appreciate beautiful art. So if we could get an art gallery in here to do a show, people could visualize that particular art piece in the homes here at The Montage.