It is certainly among the most distinctive building projects underway in Northern Nevada.
On a scruffy stretch of Oddie Boulevard in Sparks, a former nursing home is being repurposed into a 58-unit apartment building. The kitchen of the former facility is being refashioned into a commercial kitchen that chefs, caterers, food truck operators and culinary start-ups can rent by the hour. Chef Mark Estee, an owner of Local Food Group and Great Basin Brewing Co., is helping to develop the kitchen (while adding some marquee appeal).
The $7 million project, dubbed The Hub@Oddie, occupies the onetime Renown Skilled Nursing at 1835 Oddie Blvd., near Sullivan Lane. With new employers arriving in Sparks and the city’s population increasing nearly 20 percent in the past decade, The Hub brings much-needed housing. Improvements from the Regional Transportation Commission Oddie Wells Project make the development pencil out even more.
The Hub also addresses a less public shortage: the need for additional commercial kitchens as local food and drink professionals emerge from the pandemic, many with entrepreneurial ambitions. Currently, there are only a handful of commissary kitchens in Northern Nevada.
“We are excited to contribute to the revitalization of the Oddie Wells corridor and are dedicated to creating a property that will benefit residents and community members alike,” said Robyn Mitchell of Lara Properties, developer of the project.
Rents comparable for ‘similar properties’
Construction on The Hub@Oddie began in August 2021; completion is estimated for spring 2022. Apartments consist of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and live-work units with kitchens, high-speed Internet and pets allowed. Community amenities include parking, a garden, courtyards, business center, laundry, dog washing and a fitness room.
Rental rates have not yet been set, “but they will be comparable to similar properties in the area,” a representative for the developer said in an email.
According to a survey of data through the second quarter of 2021 from Johnson Perkins Griffin, real estate appraisers and consultants, the average price of an apartment in West Sparks/North Valleys is $1,409 per month while the average price in East Sparks is $1,940 per month.
Why repurpose instead of demolish
The commercial kitchen at The Hub will run to nearly 2,900 square feet, have access separate from the apartment, and feature food preparation and cooking areas and equipment, as well as private lockers and dry, refrigerated and freezer storage.
Besides developer Lara Properties, The Hub is being funded by Heritage Bank of Nevada, designed by Resin Architecture and built by Solum Construction of Reno. In a statement, The Hub touts its environmental friendliness, with repurposing instead of demolition resulting in “less noise, waste and traffic disturbances” and “a faster timeline and reduced overall cost.”
Johnathan L. Wright is the food and drink editor for Reno News & Review. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsJLW or on Facebook personally or at @FoodNevada. Sign up here for the Reno News & Review free weekly newsletter highlighting our most recent stories.