It may be a condo future for Carson City apartments

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Sam Terry, right, and Ryan Langson discuss some of the improvements to their condos, such as a bigger fitness area and a new roof.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Sam Terry, right, and Ryan Langson discuss some of the improvements to their condos, such as a bigger fitness area and a new roof.

Parkway Manor is set to become Carson City's first condominium-conversion project. If it is, Tom and Shari Ellis will turn their monthly $1,000 rent into a mortgage payment.

"It's a better use of our money," said Tom Ellis, 67, a small-business owner. "It gives us real estate for about the same price."

Parkway Manor will start the first step of the city approval process at Wednesday's planning commission meeting .

Carson City has about seven or eight condos that were approved by a different planning process, but Parkway Manor may become the city's first conversion, said Walt Sullivan, city director of planning and community development. About six other apartment complex owners have inquired about the new ordinance, which was approved about two months ago.

"This does provide the owner of the property with some flexibility," Sullivan said. "It also provides the city another avenue of housing because it can be less than ordinary housing costs."

The Ellises moved to Carson City to get their business out of California and be close to their children. As empty nesters, the couple are a primary market target for condo ownership. They live in Parkway Manor, on East College Parkway, because they don't want the time and maintenance costs of a house.

"Been there and done that," said Shari Ellis, 56. "We were on a third of an acre in Bakersfield, and we had a pool and a Jacuzzi. That's a lot of work when it's 100 degrees outside. I'd rather have a small place for Tom and I."

The target market for Parkway Manor condos is retirees who are still active and first-time home buyers, said Ryan Langson, vice president of Langson Development. The costs of the condos have not yet been determined, but he said the Tanamera condo conversion project in Reno is averaging $250-$300 per square foot.

"And we know we're going to be less than their average," Langson said Friday.

Residents will have the opportunity to decline or accept purchasing agreements. The complex is 96 percent occupied. The offering is anticipated to start in late summer or early fall, with an opening to the general public afterward.

Langson said the goal is to convert as many as 50 percent of Parkway Manor renters into owners. This large of a conversion percentage is often difficult to secure, but it was attained at Wood Chase Condominiums, a recent conversion project in south Reno off East Patriot Boulevard. The Langsons have obtained a mortgage brokerage license.

"Some payments could go up slightly," Langson said. "Probably less than $100. If it went up more than that, I'd be surprised."

If approved by the city, more than $3 million in improvements will be invested into Parkway Manor's 176 apartments, landscaping and exterior architecture. Owners Don and Bruce Langson will then change the name to Avalon Court Condominiums.

Residents will be able to purchase upgrades, such as tile flooring for kitchen and baths, new carpeting and stainless-steel appliances.

New exterior paint, an upgraded slate roof and a rock facade will be added to the buildings. The clubhouse will be remodeled to accommodate a larger aerobic area, said Sam Terry, project manager for Langson Development, which is managing the conversion. Changes will also be made around the property.

An access gate will be added to the east side of Parkway Manor on Retail Drive. Since the city abandoned Hot Springs Road northeast off Roop Street, one section of the roadway was given back to Parkway Manor.

"We'll tear up the road and add a walkway or a pet area or shuffle board," Terry said. "The intent is to use it as an outdoor recreation area for the future owners."

Sullivan said they hope future conversions will allow more people to own homes. For those who see a $250,000 condo as still too pricey, Sullivan said older units could convert and offer lower prices. Parkway Manor was completed in 2000.

"The newer the unit, the higher the price it will be," Sullivan said. "But, hopefully, we're looking at some other prices that will give home buyers a couple more options."

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.

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