Reno City Council has approved a contract to demolish two downtown motels, the Golden West Motor Lodge and the Heart o’ Town.
During a special council meeting, Mayor Hillary Schieve said approving the demolition was essential to avoid dealing with boarded up motels for years to come.
The Council accepted the contract unanimously with a 4-0 decision, while Council Members Jenny Brekhus, Naomi Duerr and Paul McKenzie were absent.
The city will be paid back first if the property is sold. If that does not happen, the city has the opportunity to take control.
Almost a dozen community members spoke out against demolition, including Mike Thornton, the executive director of the local advocacy group ACTIONN.
“What we’re talking about is the fact that taxpayer money, public money is being proposed to subsidize private development with nothing in return for the residents of Reno,” he said.
Right now, the land is owned by the Northern Nevada Urban Development & Management Company, LLC which did not respond to our requests for comment.
The company has also turned down offers by a local developer to renovate the property.
The city says that demolition is expected by this fall.