The grandeur of Rancharrah beckons.
Towering trees line the property’s pathways, a benchmark of the estate’s rich history in northern Nevada. The stately, green-roofed, white-walled buildings whisper of the legend and legacy of Bill Harrah.
“I feel a great responsibility to the history of Bill Harrah’s legacy and the Harrah family to develop this iconic property with integrity and style,” Chip Bowlby, managing partner of the Reno Land Development Company said in a press release. RLDC purchased the preeminent property in October 2015.
RLDC will begin writing the next chapter of the property’s remarkable story with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 2.
“Rancharrah holds an allure for many people who have not been allowed behind the gates during the estate’s history,” Bowlby said. “And now we want to open it to both people who will live within and outside the gates.”
Work on the property’s main thoroughfare to connect Talbot Lane to Kietzke Lane is set to begin in August 2016. RLDC plans to realign the road to preserve the mature trees and lush landscaping on the property.
During the same timeframe, RLDC looks to select the builders that will construct the first residential villages on the 141-acre property.
Crews will break ground on those estimated 114 homes in the first quarter of 2017, with the goal of having some homes move-in ready by fall of 2017.
In the midst of increasing demand for housing in Reno, Rancharrah will offer prestigious living in a community of luxurious homes in a stunning location with exceptional features and amenities. RLDC established a team of experts to preserve the history and integrity of Rancharrah and plans to maximize the mature landscaping on the site and develop the property with existing aesthetics in mind.
While the first villages set for development primarily consist of estate homes, Rancharrah’s mixed-use development will also include cottages, condominiums, town homes, and commercial and retail properties.
Bowlby said tenants are already in escrow for 180,000 square feet of office space, which could break ground by the end of 2016. That could be the same time RLDC breaks ground on the 100,000+ square feet of retail and restaurant spaces. The show case restaurant and perhaps wine shop will rest on the lake that reflects the Harrah Mansion and views Mt. Rose. Bowlby stated it might be called “Reflections at Rancharrah”.
“This will be the place to be in Reno,” he said. “This is where people will want to come and spend a day enjoying shopping, dining and socializing.”
As for the legendary Rancharrah mansion, RLDC is considering preliminary plans to turn the 30,000-square-foot, equestrian-influenced building into a private social club.
“We look at it as a country club without the golf course,” Bowlby said.
Plans for the mansion could include a Tavern on the Green like restaurant overlooking outdoor pools, tennis courts, and an event lawn.
“On the events lawn, you’ll be able to enjoy all four seasons in Reno,” Bowlby said. “We’re thinking about activities like fly fishing out in the lake, an Easter egg hunt for the grandchildren and the children, or a Kentucky Derby party and perhaps a wedding for a member’s daughter or son.”
An information pavilion will pay tribute to the Harrah family and the property’s prestigious history. Constructed in John Harrah’s photography studio near the Talbot Lane entrance of the estate, the center, set to open in July, will include a larger-than-life timeline.
“We are doing a walk through time — where Rancharrah started, where it has been, and where it’s going,” Bowlby said. “The timeline will go through several events of Bill Harrah’s life from how he started in Reno with the bingo parlor, built Harrah’s Casinos and when he transformed Rancharrah.”
The pavilion will also include information about the residential developments planned for Rancharrah, as well as the club at the mansion, equestrian center, and commercial and retail opportunities.