Choice frontage property along Meadowood Mall is filling up in Reno | SierraSun.com

Choice frontage property along Meadowood Mall is filling up in Reno

Bill O'Driscoll
wodriscoll@nnbw.biz

Four decades after Meadowood Mall opened in south Reno, the adjoining land fronting onto Reno’s busiest intersection is finally filling in.

Come 2018, a new Home2 Suites by Hilton will open at McCarran Boulevard and Meadowood Mall Link. To the west toward the McCarran-South Virginia Street intersection, developers envision a possible office complex, high-end restaurant and other businesses.

It’s all part of the broad vision of Jim Lagerquist, co-owner of Corporate Pointe, which recently sold the parcel for the hotel to the builders of the 95-room Home2 Suites but retains ownership of the rest of the acreage to the west.

For years, Lagerquist, a Seattle-based commercial real estate developer, had eyed the roughly triangular 12 acres between the McCarran-South Virginia corner and Meadowood Mall.

The Home2 Suites by Hilton is being built by Laxmi Hotels LLC of Reno, which has three other small, non-gaming niche hotels already operating in the area, one in northwest Reno and the others in the south corridor.

In the early 2000s, he succeeded in acquiring the property from then-owner Anthem Blue Cross and drew up plans, which at one time included a 500-room Hard Rock hotel-casino, for the empty expanse at the southeast corner of McCarran and South Virginia. The area had even been scooped out in preparation for underground parking.

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Then recession hit.

“We shut everything down,” Lagerquist recalled last week from his office in the nearby three-story Corporate Pointe building on the property.

As for the planned hotel-casino, “We dodged a bullet,” he said. “But that’s the nature of the development game. Sometimes the good projects are the ones you don’t build.”

Now, however, the Reno-Sparks economy is churning again, and with that comes opportunity to move ahead with long-deferred plans. Lagerquist, whose credentials include shopping malls in Southern California, office buildings in the Bay Area and an array of buildings in Seattle and the University of Washington, is seizing the moment.

“I’ve been waiting. Now we see some life,” he said.

The Home2 Suites by Hilton is being built by Laxmi Hotels LLC of Reno, which has three other small, non-gaming niche hotels already operating in the area, one in northwest Reno and the others in the south corridor. The new hotel, also non-gaming, will cater to the business and Millennial clientele with extended stay options.

With that portion of the property accounted for, Lagerquist said Corporate Pointe is now focusing on how to develop the land extending west to South Virginia Street and McCarran.

It’s a choice locale for business. With the busy intersection, the nearby Interstate 580 freeway and McCarran Boulevard’s Ring Road linkage to the entire valley, the visibility and access for countless thousands of motorists a day are inviting, and Lagerquist said the office market is a prime target.

“There’s some life in the office sector,” Lagerquist said of the commercial real estate sector that has seen little new growth in the past decade.

He said his company has already invested in improvements to the 85,000-square-foot Corporate Pointe office building with New York Life and Anthem Blue Cross as major tenants.

“There are a number of parties I’m working with now,” Lagerquist said of prospective businesses in the building as well as the vacant land outside. “I think I have enough interest to move forward. You adjust when you have to adjust.”

And there’s no denying the potential for any business fronting onto the McCarran-South Virginia intersection.

“It’s a very unique corner on all fronts,” he said, and it offers an unbuilt location that’s near impossible to find anywhere else in the Truckee Meadows.

After sitting empty for decades, the property finally appears to have an identity; likely in the form of a first-class office building, Lagerquist said.

“Something that makes a statement,” he said.

“This has become a journey, but the good news is, we’re still here. It’s all part of our master plan.”