PARK LANE CENTRE
South Virginia Street / US 359 and East Plum Lane
Reno, Nevada

SHOPPERS SQUARE, Reno's first regional shopping center, was completed in 1964. The first mall-type complex in "The Biggest Little City in the World" was built directly across the street. PARK LANE CENTRE occupied a 47.3 acre parcel, located 1.2 miles south of center city Reno.

The single-level, open-air retail venue was developed by Sonner Greenspan, Ben Edwards and A.J. Flagg, all of Reno. Completed in three stages, its first operational tenant, a 2-level (130,000 square foot) Sears, opened for business in September 1965.

The mall proper was officially dedicated March 9, 1967. Charter inline stores included Joseph Magnin, Kinney Shoes, Anita Shops, Rose Sporting Goods, Youngland Children's Shoes, Zales Jewelers, Swiss Colony, Music City Records, Roos-Atkins, Singer Sewing Center, House of Fabrics and an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

PARK LANE CENTRE was completed with the dedication of a 3-level (157,000 square foot) Sacramento-based Weinstock's. This store began business July 31, 1967. The mall now encompassed approximately 448,700 leasable square feet and contained fifty stores and services.

The focal point of the center was the 19th-century-vintage Street Clock of Reno. This historic downtown landmark had been built by Boston's E. Howard Company and was installed in Center Court of the mall during its construction.

Over the years, Reno's metropolitan area expanded southward, with PARK LANE CENTRE being joined by newer, fully-enclosed shopping centers. RENO TOWN / OLD TOWN MALL {1 mile south, in Reno} was completed in 1973. MEADOWOOD MALL {2 miles south, also in Reno} opened in 1979.

As a keeping up measure, the PARK LANE property was fully-enclosed and climate-controlled. The 5 million dollar roofing renovation was carried out by the center's new owners, the Santa Monica-based Macerich Company. The project was completed in October 1978, with a new name being bestowed; PARK LANE MALL.

A mall-wide face lift was performed in 1987, which included an interior upgrade and remodeled entrances. However, by the mid-1990s, PARK LANE MALL was starting to decline. Sears pulled out on September 24, 1995. Weinstock's was shuttered in February 1996. Woolworth's shut down in July 1997.

Fresno-based Gottschalks remodeled the former Sears, demolished its freestanding Auto Center, and opened on March 30, 1996. In July, the vacant Weinstock's was demolished. The Century Theatres 16 Park Lane megaplex showed its first features August 14, 1998. This freestanding venue had been built on a pad directly east of the store site.

During this time frame, actor Max Baer was promoting a redevelopment of PARK LANE MALL as Jethro's Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino. However, this plan for a hospitality, retail, gaming and entertainment megaplex never came to fruition.  

By the early 21st century, the proverbial writing was on the wall. PARK LANE MALL was in a pronounced state of decline. The final nail in the proverbial coffin came in March 2006, with the grand opening of the SUMMIT SIERRA lifestyle center {7 miles southeast, in Washoe ["wash-oh"] County}.

Macerich sold the struggling shopping hub to San Francisco-based M & H Realty Partners in July 2006. The mall proper closed January 31, 2007. The wrecking ball began to swing in October. Gottschalks was left standing. Following its December 27, 2008 closing, it -too- was demolished.

All that remained of PARK LANE MALL were the Century megaplex, an outparcel animal hospital and two banks. These were to be worked into a mixed-use development, known as PARK LANE PROMENADE. Plans were initially announced in 2009.

This complex was to encompass approximately 500,000 leasable square feet of retail, hotel and restaurant space and be anchored by a 1-level (136,900 square foot) discount department store.

Unfortunately, construction on the project was delayed by The Great Recession and an impasse between Reno city officials and the developer, who was now known as Merlone Geier Properties. The mall site would sit abandoned and growing weeds for over 7 years.

In September 2016, Chip Bowlby, under the auspices of Reno Land, Incorporated, acquired the property. A new redevelopment plan was envisaged. The New Urbansism-style PARK LANE project would include 100,000 square feet of retail, 100,000 square feet of office space and 1,235 residential units.

The 500 million dollar mixed-use facility would be built in two phases. During Phase 1, an initial 725 residential units would be built. During Phase 2, retail and office structures would be added, along with an additional 510 apartments. Construction was expected to commence in late 2017.

Sources:

www.onlinenevade.org
Reno Gazette-Journal
www.nevadabusinessreport.com
www.bigmallrat.com
Washoe County, Nevada tax assessor website
www.theurban.blogs.com
http://www.parklanelife.com
www.renodiscontent.com
www.rgj.com