Recently there have been a few changes occurring, or proposed, in and around downtown Reno. First, the Aces developer, Herb Simon, is at least affiliated with the Bundox property purchase. According to Washoe County documents, the property sold for $1.95 miilion. The property sits a 0 Lake Street, between the river and the Aces Ball Park. Nobody is certain what Simon plans to use the property for, but it will likely compliment the Freight House/Aces Stadium. Tim Ruffin from Colliers International thinks it will be used for retail-based businesses such as bars and restaurants. You can read a little bit about the history on the Downtown Reno Makeover Blog.
Next, some investor group called the Siegal Group is going to buy the El Cortez Hotel. Their plan includes upgrades to the building, but they want to keep the “historical character” intact. Specifically, the plan to paint, upgrade the floors, modernize the equipment and appliances, etc. A priority will be to fill the western retail spaces and apparently they’re already entertaining offers from potential tenants. I found an interesting article about the history of the El Cortez that you can read here. I’m interested to see what happens with this property, as the El Cortez would not seem attractive to me if I were an investor. I think serious renovations will be necessary to turn the place around. Further, there are already so many hotels in Reno, I’m curious how investors are going to differentiate themselves from the competition?
I guess UNR is gaining popularity. To make accommodations for the influx of students, the University plans to demolish Lincoln Hall to build new residence halls. Lincoln Hall was built in 1896, making it one of the oldest operating resident halls on the west coast. The outside of the building has never been modified since its original construction. This initiative is being met with much resistance in the community because people see it as a landmark on the UNR campus and they feel it’s important to UNR’s historic legacy. This link will lead you to a petition that you can sign if you feel strongly about preserving the building. Personally I think we should get rid of the old and welcome the new. In my opinion, functionality and practicality for the present should take priority over the past.
The Lost City Farm was officially opened around September of last year, but I didn’t realize they were fully operational. Therefore I’m considering them a recent change and I’m blogging about them. This urban farm is located at 512 South Center Street, very close to SUP in midtown. All of the vegetables and flowers grown at this location are herbicide and pesticide free. Food from this farm is sold to local restaurants within a five mile radius. You can check their website to learn about events the organization holds. They sell produce directly to the public from their onsite farm stand once a week. Growing is seasonal so don’t expect fresh tomatoes when it’s below freezing in December. (Photo Credit)
It’s good to hear changes happening in Downtown. I hope the investors mentioned in this blog see an incredible ROI for their purchases. It would be ideal if their success sparked the interest of other investors, as that could encourage more purchases and renovations around downtown. Downtown Reno still has a long road until the downtown area is as attractive as other cities, but I consider all of the things mentioned to be steps in the right direction. What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!