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November 26, 2007



I love your plan! I can only hope that that the developers are listening and develop this parcel of land to it's full potential. This is an opportunity to create something special. Reno is in need of a retail center/plaza that encourages people to get out of their cars and walk around, socialize, people watch, etc. Something akin to The Grove, which Mike mentioned on his site and I think you have done a great job reinforcing in your napkin plan. This is exactly the opportunity that Bayer Properties had when they built the Summit, which turned out to be nothing but a high-end strip mall with little social interaction or charm. I could just picture what this area would look like with some big department stores intermixed with smaller cafes, shops, as well as trees, fountains, nice lighting, etc. If there is one drawback it's the area demographics which could hamper attempts to get big-name, new to the area tenants to sign leases.


Thanks for the comment Justin, glad you like this idea. The demographics issue is important - when I was coming up with this concept, my target retailer that kept springing to mind was "High Street". This is a center for High Street retailers. I think the High Street does include shops that target a range of prices, lifestyles, and functions, however.

Some potential drivers of growth in this center would be:

* Virginia Lake Crossing, across the street. Will have its own shopping street, but they so owe us a map it's not even funny at this point. Still, there'll be residents, and they might want to shop.

* The hotel. I'm thinking this is a brand-name hotel like maybe a Westin. A hotel like that would serve a whole new base of customers for the Reno market and the proximity just between downtown and the convention center would be a real selling point.

Some interesting implications for Gottschalk's in this version however. Is G's now "High Street"? Were they trying to get there? Or do they co-anchor the center with something higher-end?


BTW here are a few Seattle-area shopping centers to address your points about Summit. My message: It's all the same everywhere. Post modern suburban strip architecture is a hard habit to break for developers!

And Summit, for comparison


Since we're on the topic of retail. Have you checked out Las Vegas Town Square? It opened recently and I've heard great things about it. It sounds like the perfect type of project for this area. If the developer is smart they will play up the close proximity to downtown as an asset. I can honestly say from first hand experience there are many tourists who come to town that want more shopping/dining options near downtown.


Interesting. I was unware of Town Square Las Vegas. I usually have to go to Vegas once a year in January so I'll take a look at it as part of my annual survey. I'm also tracking Sullivan Square That seems like one hell of a project.



Boulder, Colorado. They blew up a shopping mall a few years ago, something that doesn't happen often in cities Boulder's size. Now they're doing up a development called "29th Street" that is essentially a "shopping street" makeover of the old mall site.

There's a lot of this kind of thing going on in the country - the question is whether Reno's can show some distinctiveness and break out from the crowd.


I love the idea. IMO, the only thing that could make it better is if it was downtown. I was just recently at the K street mall in downtown Sacramento, and it would be amazing if Reno could get something like that.

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