Midtown mixed-use development underway
Construction is well underway on the first mixed-use development in Midtown. The 21,000-square-foot project, called 1401 Midtown, will include a combination of office, retail, restaurant and residential occupants.
Blake Smith, chairman and CEO of S3 Development Company, LLC, purchased the property about 18 months ago. The 9,000-square-foot building previously housed the headquarters for Heritage Bank of Nevada. S3 Development is currently in the construction process of renovating the existing building and adding an additional 12,000 square feet to the development.
“It is going to be one of the more exciting office spaces in town,” Smith said.
According to Smith, currently 94 percent of the commercial space is preleased. The commercial tenants include Bristlecone Holdings, a local financial technology firm, SDL Jewelers, part of Michael & Sons Jewelers and Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market from Truckee, Calif. The restaurant recently expanded the amount of space they are leasing to add an oyster bar. An additional 1,200 square feet of commercial space is still available for lease.
“This is true urban redevelopment,” Smith said. “This is taking (the existing building) and modernizing it.”
One way they are modernizing the building is by removing the sheetrock and the dropped ceilings. This uncovered the brick walls within the building, which had not seen sunlight in 64 years. The space will house Bristlecone Holdings.
“Doing urban infill brings a lot of headaches dealing with existing old infrastructure,” Smith said of renovating the building, which was built in 1952. “But the end result is really exciting.”
1401 Midtown will also feature a 1,800-square-foot plaza and patio area. It will provide outside dining space for Morgan’s Lobster Shack and a place for people in the development to gather and enjoy. Smith said that it will have a grotto feel to it with all of the trees they are planting in the space.
M2 Construction and Homecrafters are the contractors on the project and Mike McGonagle and Tod Copenhaver are the architects. According to Smith, each tenant is working with their own interior designer to customize the space to their needs. Construction is scheduled to be complete by July 15.
“The end result will be a real gem,” Scott Shanks, a principal of Dickson Commercial Group, said. Dickson Commercial Group is the commercial real estate brokerage firm that was involved with the sale of the property and is now providing the leasing for the project.
Adjacent to the commercial development will be a residential development called Tonopah Lofts. The lofts will consist of eight, 2-story, 1,700-square-foot townhomes. According to a press release from S3 and Dickson Commercial Group, the modern townhomes will feature rooftop decks, an open space plan concept with a connecting kitchen and living room area and views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The townhomes will be priced in the $300,000 to $400,000 range.
“It is truly a mixed-use live and work community,” Smith said.
Smith wanted to make sure that the development had parking for the commercial tenants and the residents, something that is rare in Midtown. The development will includes 33 on-site parking spaces and 17 on-street parking spaces.
S3 Development is also working on a residential development called Midtown Lofts on the corner of Sinclair and Stewart streets. Midtown Lofts will consist of six new 3-story townhomes, three 2-story bungalows as well as the two existing homes on the property. Smith said they do not have a price range for Midtown Lofts yet.
The demand for housing in the greater Reno area is really high and even more so in the Midtown area, Smith explained. He has already received a lot of interest for both the Tonopah Lofts and the Midtown Lofts. Smith plans to break ground on Midtown Lofts in 30 days and to start construction on Tonopah Lofts in about 60 days. Both projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.
Smith said that while he doesn’t have any other projects to announce in Midtown, he is interested in developing more in the area. However, developable land in Midtown is becoming harder to find.
“You would be hard pressed to find vacancies in Midtown,” Shanks said. “And it is next to impossible to find vacant land (to develop).”
Smith’s other developments include the Somersett master-planned community located in northwest Reno and the U.S. Bank building located downtown at 1 East Liberty St. For more information on his developments, visit http://www.s3devco.com.
“They are all prepared to be our future leaders and decision-makers and will see first-hand the complexities of a growing and industrious region,” says Chamber CEO Ann Silver.