THE GREATER GOOD – BUILDING COMMUNITY
The West 2nd District is what happens when you put your city first. When you send your ego to the back of the line and ask your neighbor “So, friend, what can we do together to make this a better place?”
We’re a highly collaborative community of designers, builders, challengers, and change makers who’ve engaged in the above and joined forces as a result. We’re a catalyst, a rallying force, an all-in, big-picture team dedicated to the robust, empathetic, and purposeful development of Reno.
We listen and learn. And we put that learning to work, harnessing energies, amplifying voices, and fostering fertile new conditions for joy throughout our many varied communities.
Ours is a platform for urban innovation that’s changing the ways people experience and contribute to a flourishing and more inclusive Reno.
THE GREATER GOOD – INVESTING IN RENO
The West 2nd District represents a pivotal moment in Reno’s history. Yes, we’re building a vibrant, modern neighborhood that’s rich with experiences and opportunity, but we’re here to build something more.
To finance redevelopment projects, cities often bond against projected increases in property tax values to generate the capital needed to pay for new infrastructure. This approach, while popular, can put a municipality at risk. If future property tax revenues fall short of projections, the city’s left to service the debt without the resources to help offset the upfront costs.
That’s why we’re doing infrastructure funding differently.
We see West 2nd as an enduring, big-picture investment in the city we call home, and that means investing in high quality infrastructure and insulating the City of Reno from financial risk. Under our proposed Developer-Financed Public Infrastructure Reimbursement Agreement, we will invest capital in the public infrastructure systems and technologies the City needs but can’t afford without bonding additional debt. The City would reimburse us for these public infrastructure expenses only after the West 2nd District is raising property tax revenues for the City as projected and the existing senior debt in the city’s existing redevelopment district is paid off.
It’s a win-win investment in a stronger Reno.
We believe that communities are strengthened by robust civic investments in people, programs, and educational infrastructure. We believe that vibrant communities with high-quality education systems beget cultures of lifelong learning. And we believe that robust community alliances are necessary to support the education of all. We also believe we can help.
Primary & Secondary Education
From urban field trips to service learning opportunities, citizen-science experiments to place-based learning, the West 2nd Street District will provide dynamic opportunities for students and teachers to engage with the life force that is a growing city. It will be an urban field station, a research-in-action site, full of wonder and possibility for students hungry to learn about urban forestry, seismic sensor networks, water recycling, public art, urban infrastructure, and beyond.
Meanwhile, back on campus, PreK-12 education, one of the most important and yet most vulnerable and least resilient social systems in our community, is tasked with doing more each year with fewer and fewer resources. We’re working in concert with the Washoe County School District and the City of Reno to strengthen our education system as our community grows.
The West 2nd Street District project represents an enormous opportunity for the private sector to partner with, recruit, train, and equip college students for the highly skilled careers of the twenty-first century. Working directly with the University of Nevada, Truckee Meadows Community College, and Reno College of Business, students from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds can pursue paid internships with real-world implications for the business of building a better city. Over the life of the development, the West 2nd District is projected to produce 6,551 high-quality jobs. Preparing today’s students for those future jobs is one of our core priorities.
College & Career Readiness
The many forward-thinking business, civic, and educational partnerships forged in the creation of the West 2nd District will yield invaluable opportunities for secondary and postsecondary students to learn in field-based internship and pre-apprenticeship programs. Real-world, hands-on learning about how cities grow and change, coupled with direct involvement with the challenges faced by small businesses, civic and nonprofit organizations will illuminate for students the varied pathways to real-world college and career readiness, as well as highly skilled careers.
THE GREATER GOOD – HISTORIC PRESERVATION
With each passing year, we’ve seen more and more of the structures that formed the historic urban core of downtown Reno being changed or lost. However, working with civic partners within and adjacent to the West 2nd District, the Don J Clark Group is actively supporting research and documentation of the area’s built history, its conservation, and opportunities for adaptive reuse.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 501 Riverside Drive, is better known today as the Lear Theater. Named for Moya Lear, the philanthropist who purchased it in 1998 in order to protect its historic significance as a gift to her community. Working with the theater’s present-day owner, Artown, the Don J Clark Group is helping to rehabilitate the building and ensure that Mrs. Lear’s vision is realized at long last.
The old Masonic Lodge #13/Reno Mercantile Building (1871), located at 98 West Commercial Row on the corner of North Sierra, is the oldest standing commercial building in Reno. Working with Kit Miyamoto, the internationally renowned structural and seismic engineer, and the building’s current owner, The Whitney Peak Hotel, the Don J Clark Group is exploring ways to rehabilitate this classic structure.
The Powning Conservation District
Founded by C.C. Powning in the 1880s, this neighborhood is an integral part of the historic context of the West 2nd District. In its day, it served predominantly as working-class housing for people of Italian heritage. The Don J Clark Group is committed to preserving the Powning District’s culture legacy as West 2nd begins to grow and intertwine with it. A few of its most noteworthy assets include Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral at 310 West 2nd Street, Saint Thomas Aquinas School at 195 North Arlington, the Bethel AME Church at 220 Bell Street, and the Twentieth Century Club, located at 335 West 1st Street.