Based on current job growth trends, RCG Economics projects that the Region will absorb the most desirable residential land parcels in six years and Industrial in 20 years.

Reno, Nevada (Dec. 21, 2021) – RCG Economics (RCG) released the Northern Nevada Vacant Land Analysis: Inventory & Implications for Economic Growth & Development Report.  The Study was designed to determine the short and long-term developable land constraints that could negatively affect the Region’s economic resilience going forward.  The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) commissioned the study which was primarily supported by The Truckee Meadows Business Coalition, NAIOP, EDAWN and local governments.  (See page 5 of the report for sponsor recognition.)

Based on current job growth trends, RCG projects that the Region will absorb the most desirable Residential land by 2027 and Industrial land by 2041.  The number of parcels to accommodate large-scale development in the near- and medium-terms is limited and will likely face supply constraints sooner than smaller parcels, especially since most of the larger parcels are 30 or more miles from Metro Reno-Sparks.  Northern Nevada developers, especially residential, will face challenges in finding desirable parcels to accommodate projects by 2027 if nothing is done to expand regional access to land.

According to the report, there are roughly 25,500 gross acres remaining of developable residential and nonresidential land in the Study Area, which represent less than 5% of the total acreage in the Region that is not vacant, not usable, too steep, etc. (see Figures IV-1 and IV-2).  The study confirmed that failing to ensure an adequate supply of developable land in the region will lead to a significant reduction in the region’s growth and the area’s gross regional product.

Southern Nevada also conducted a lands study to assist in the passage of their lands bill.  “It only made sense to conduct a similar effort to validate what the low-cost housing advocates, workforce housing proponents and the development community already knew,” said Scott Bensing, a member of the Truckee Meadows Business Coalition.  “This comprehensive study shows us that we are running out of developable land in the Truckee Meadows.  Once the most desirable land is gone, the price for remaining land will skyrocket, making it nearly impossible for our children to stay in Northern Nevada and raise their families here,” Bensing said.

Mike Kazmierski, President & CEO of EDAWN said, “The main reason for the study was to quantify the need for more land in the region and provide the data needed to support the passage of the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act.  Once approved, the Act will allow for the auction of federal land just east of the City of Sparks to increase our land supply, with the proceeds of the sales used to provide resources for parks, river protection, Lake Tahoe, wetlands and other enhancements to our quality of life.  Access to this land closer to the metro area will allow for our continued growth, while avoiding the negative consequences of urban sprawl.”

Elizabeth Fielder, Chair of NAIOP Northern Nevada (Commercial Real Estate Development Association) said, “It is imperative that we maintain our region’s economic vitality and continue to diversify our region.  As such, we are proud to present this study as clear, striking evidence that we are running out of land in our region.  The only solution to our affordable housing crisis is to build more houses. And the only way to do that is to have more land to do so.  A federal lands bill will pave the way for more affordable housing and more jobs for our current and future residents.”

About EDAWN:

The Economic Development Authority off Western Nevada is a private/public partnership established in 1983. EDAWN is committed to adding quality jobs to the region by recruiting new companies, supporting the success of existing companies, and assisting new forming companies to diversify the economy and have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Sparks.

Norma Yamaji
Manager, Business Development
Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada