City leaders agreed Monday at a meeting of the Sparks redevelopment agency to pave over the gravel patch that once held Pacific Pawnbrokers at a price tag of $9,000. The building was demolished in June.
City leaders were presented with an option to install grass for special events for $14,000 but declined because it would place an unknown burden on an already stretched city maintenance crew.
“Some of the grass in front of the theater looks pretty beat up,” said Sparks Mayor and redevelopment agency member Geno Martini. “I like grass but my problem is that the grass gets so beat up there that it doesn’t look good. I’d rather see asphalt, it’s easier to take care of.”
According to city manager Shaun Carey, the now empty patch of land needed to be covered in order to comply with state health code regulations.
“If we are going to use it for public purposes we should comply with heath regulations,” Carey said.
The land was purchased by the city in spring 2008 in a $1.65 million deal that included two other properties, unnecessary for city redevelopment plans.
The former owner of the property, Joe Schlader, agreed to sell the former Pacific Pawn location on the west end of Victorian Square but only if the city agreed to purchase his two other Sparks properties.
As a part of a package deal, the City Council agreed to pay a total of $1.65 million for the property on 1246 Victorian Ave. as well as the two other properties at 920 Victorian Ave. and 329 Pyramid Way between C and D streets.
City planners said the property is needed for eventual downtown redevelopment plans, which include a road and several complexes filled with retail and office space.