New retailers head for Reno, Sparks in 2015

The new year will bring new names to northern Nevada’s retail scene.

The ball got rolling in 2014 with the debut of The Cheesecake Factory restaurant at Reno’s Meadowood Mall, crafts retailer Hobby Lobby just west of the mall off South Virginia Street, Natural Grocers in Firecreek Crossing on Kietzke Lane and Texas-based clothing retailer Bealls, which joined the Sportsman’s Warehouse in long-vacant space once occupied by Gottschalks’ at the Carson Mall in Carson City.

Already anticipated is the 31,000 square-foot Nordstrom Rack, the off-price storefront of high-end retailer Nordstrom, opening at Reno’s Redfield Promenade in the spring of 2015.

But even more new names are on the way.

A new-to-Reno sporting goods store is close to signing a lease for 50,000 square-feet in the Meadowood Mall and a couple of new restaurants, including a celebrity-themed eatery, are expected to open near the mall in what is known as the Meadowood trade area, according to Shawn Smith, vice president with CBRE commercial real estate brokers in Reno.

Smith says a grocer will also likely make its Reno debut next year in the iconic, 48,000 square-foot pink Scolari’s building in south Reno. Scolari’s closed that store and another on Disc Drive in Sparks in 2014. Smith expects one or two more grocery stores to fail before year-end or early in 2015 in what he calls the ongoing grocery wars.

Despite that, Reno posted it second consecutive period of net positive absorption in the third quarter of 2014. In the third quarter, vacancy rates dropped to 14.5 percent and average asked lease rates inched up to $1.23 triple net.

“We might start seeing some new construction when vacancy hits about 10 percent,” says Smith.

Already on the drawing board is a mixed-use project, including retail, on a 12-acre parcel of Rancharrah, the former ranch owned by Bill Harrah in the middle of Reno, being developed by McKenzie Properties. The ranch itself was sold earlier this month to Reno Land Development, which is planning to put up a master-planned community on the 150-acre site.

The Legends at Sparks Marina will soon break ground on two outparcel buildings, both 5,000 square-feet and expected to house three tenants each, according to Dennis McGovern, general manager at the 147-acre retail property, which includes at its core a series outlet stores for Adidas, Ann Taylor, Coach and others.

Four of the six tenants have been signed, including the first area Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt store. The other tenants are Dunkin’ Donuts, Jimmy John’s and Pacific Dental. The Legends occupancy rate is currently 95.25 percent, says McGovern.

“The vacancy rate is higher than I’d like,” says McGovern. “It could be 99 percent and I’d still think it was too high.”

The Summit, the outdoor mall anchored by Dillard’s in south Reno, is adding several new tenants, too. Miguel’s Mexican Food and Picasso & Wine are both opening second Reno locations there and Francesca’s, a women’s casual clothing chain, is joining the mall. New construction on an existing pad is starting for a new United Federal Credit Union.

Alexia Bratiotis, general manager, said The Summit is in negotiations with several more tenants who would be new to the northern Nevada market.

A new retailer may also come to downtown Reno. Space in the old the post office, redeveloped by Midtown developer Bernie Carter, hit the market this fall. Carter said he is looking for a single, well-known tenant to occupy the 16,000 square-foot retail space on the first floor and a dozen or so smaller tenants in 500 square-foot spots to create a marketplace in the basement.

Carter is also planning to add two more buildings to his Sticks project in Midtown.

Blake Smith, who spent $3 million refurbishing downtown’s U.S. Bank building where a new 1,920 square-foot Starbucks is expected to open next month, is building a new mixed-use development to anchor Midtown. The Cove is going in the old Heritage Bank building and will include 12,000 square feet of retail. The $5 million development is scheduled to open in the spring, 2015.


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