Reno Redevelopment

Reno, Nevada has been a great place to focus on redevelopment projects over the last twenty plus years. As Reno evolves from a casino-based-economy to a diversified economy based on warehousing, manufacturing, technology and sports-tourism it has created numerous opportunities as old uses phase out and new ones come in. (Read about this transformation in the New York Times)

I have historically been interested in the CalAve and Mid-Town Districts due to their proximity to the higher-income Old Southwest neighborhood. The Sunday, October 20, 2013 New York Times article featured a number of establishments that I have worked on, including The Hub, Death & Taxes and Brasserie St. James. A colleague and I owned and redeveloped the property where The Hub and Death & Taxes currently operate and I represented the tenant/owner of Brasserie St. James when he bought 901 S. Center, which he subsequently redeveloped into the Brasserie. More recently Wells Ave has come into its own as the housing market surges, driving the gentrification of the Holcomb to VA Hospital corridor.

Reno is no longer a secret, primarily due to the Tesla Gigafactory, which catalyzed economic growth and made Reno “cool” – although some say it just spoiled a well-kept-secret.   Data centers from Switch, Apple and Google all followed and in 2018 Blockchain LLC bought out the remaining 67,000 acres in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.  While the secret is out Reno continues to be affordable with an even higher quality of life.  Check out the December 2017 article from Powder magazine which lists Reno as one of four up-and-coming ski towns and in 2019 Reno made Outside’s top twelve best places list.


Arlington-Flint Trio

The Opportunity

  • Three buildings situated in a prime location
  • Boarded-up & vacant for roughly ten years
  • High-quality surrounding residential neighborhood to support redevelopment
  • Transitional South Downtown (SoDo) business district on the upswing
The Process

  • Parcel Split to create flexibility in ownership
  • Restoration & re-purposing of the existing improvements
  • Leasing to prospective tenants whom are reflective of the neighborhood
  • Coordination of tenant improvements


650 Tahoe Street, Reno, NV – Laughing Planet Cafe

The Opportunity

  • Former Judge Gabrielli office building with block building constructed around a pre-existing old house
  • Phenomenal location in the heart of MidTown
  • Opportunity to change use from office to restaurant/retail
The Process

  • Abated entire property, removed all office improvements to create open floor-plan
  • Secured regional tenant Laughing Planet Cafe out of Portland, engaged design and construction professionals to transition building to restaurant use
  • Upgraded power in conjunction with NV Energy, including designing and installation of complete new switchgear

  • A vibrant restaurant operation staffed and operated by Tim Healion, a local legend from his time as the proprietor of Duez Gros Nez, one of the pioneers of cafe culture in Reno
  • Sold building to principals behind Tenant


Cheney Street, Reno, NV – The Hub & Death & Taxes

The Opportunity
  • In the mid-2000’s with California Avenue well on its way we began looking at new neighborhoods
  • Purchased property as a residential duplex with two single car garages
  • Envisioned restaurant and commercial uses
  • The Process

    • Changed the use with the City of Reno, created a single restaurant space with grease interceptor out of two-car garage
    • Converted duplex into a single bar space
    • Part of the pioneering MidTown district, currently the most vibrant food & entertainment district in Reno

    • The Hub Coffee Roasters / Blue Whale operated out of the 400sf former garage and Death & Taxes, an avant-garde bar operates out of the former duplex.  Death & Taxes ultimately expanded into Coffee space.
    • Sold the building to the proprietors of Death & Taxes who subsequently purchased the adjacent building and relocated their successful Mid-Town Eats restaurant from South Virginia to Cheney Street


    130 S. Center, Reno, NV – Patagonia Outlet

    The Opportunity

    • Original all-brick and steel truss Hudson Auto Dealership
    • Forty years of office improvements disguised building’s potential
    • Emerging neighborhood with significant activity
    The Process

    • Invested in historically dicey neighborhood
    • Completely gutted the entire building and sand-blasted exterior
    • Exposed natural brick and truss structure on spec

    • During renovation West Elm leased space in neighboring Post Office re-development
    • Leased the property to Great Pacific Iron Works (Patagonia) for the outlet store
    • Sold the building to a sophisticated Bay Area investment company


    188-190 California Avenue, Reno NV – Blue Moon Pizza, The Loving Cup

    The Opportunity

    • Owners of the Satellite Cocktail Lounge, a tenant at the property, contacted me about the opportunity
    • The majority of the building was vacant and/or under-rented
    • California Avenue district was in the early stages of re-development
    The Process

    • A complete restoration/rebuild of the entire building to bring the systems up from the original mid-50’s construction
    • Re-leased, re-developed and re-positioned the entire building with only Satellite remaining.
    • Relocated Blue Moon Pizza, an established Reno restaurant, from South Reno to California Avenue

    • Re-tenanted Blue Moon Pizza when they decided to retire with Monaciello Italian Restaurant.
    • A vibrant multi-tenant building with long-term tenants; Temple Yoga, Salon Bobby Pin, Atlas Red Real Estate, Barnatto’s T-Shirts, The Loving Cup (successor to Satellite) and Monaciello.
    • Sold in early 2019 after nearly 15 years of ownership.


    805 S. Wells, Reno NV – Von Bismarck

    The Opportunity

    • A prime corner location in the heart of the Wells Avenue District at Cheney Street which is a major cross-street to Mid-Town.
    • In close proximity to 777 South Center Street which is a large scale redevelopment of the former Maytan Music Building.
    The Process

    • Removed 100+ tons of concrete and asphalt from the site, re-graded entire property, installed new sewer line, grease interceptor, power and gas lines.
    • Solicited letters of intent and negotiated a lease with the owner of the highly successful Chapel Bar.
    • Worked collaboratively with Tenant and contractor Riveted to deliver a contemporary, hip, casual restaurant space unique to the Reno market.

    • Opened for business June 2019.  See article from Reno Gazette Journal
    • Trans-formative development for Wells Avenue – commonly heard statement “we never thought we’d see this on Wells”
    • Brings a family-friendly Zeitgeist-like concept to the Reno marketplace.   


    This Redevelopment Page primarily focuses on Reno but I am also active in other markets. Same techniques; comprehensive due diligence, careful planning, aggressive leasing, strict construction supervision and above all surety of execution. Just different locations. 



    5799 Hollister Ave Goleta, CA – Autozone

    The Opportunity

    • Saw the for-sale-sign go up one day at lunch
    • Under-utilized building with low quality tenants
    • Able to navigate contentious sale from divorcing seller
    The Process

    • Reached out to my national leasing contacts
    • Abated property and removed interior improvements
    • Negotiated lease with AutoZone during escrow

    • AutoZone opened for business in August 2017
    • Sold the building to a local business owner who was in a 1031 exchange

    2700 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara CA


    The Opportunity

    • 100% location in developing locals-driven neighborhood.
    • Long-term ownership, then building inherited by siblings with disparate investment goals.
    • Short-term leases at below-market rents

    The Process

    • Here we go again – this project is just getting under way.

    Missoula, MT – The Mercantile

    Not all of our projects have worked out as planned, i.e. our experience in Missoula where a partner and I worked to redevelop The Missoula Mercantile. The Merc, as it was called, was one of Missoula’s oldest buildings that was most recently occupied by a Macy’s department store. The sellers had gutted the building creating a blighted situation in the heart of Missoula. It looked worse than it really was and we developed, in conjunction with Tom Beaudette of BCE, a comprehensive structural solution that retained the historical integrity of the structure with minimal impact to the floor-plates. Unfortunately not all of the cards fell our way and we cancelled escrow in the spring of 2015. The building was subsequently torn down in 2017 to make way for a chain hotel – an unnecessary and significant loss for the people of Missoula.