Reno Engineering, a development services company and engineering firm, has been operating locally for more than 20 years. The company is run by owner Vince Griffith and his daughter Britton Griffith-Douglass, who serves as vice president of operations.
The company mainly focuses on development in downtown Reno and the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC).
One project they finished earlier this year was the renovation of 11,000-square-feet of office space on the second floor of Arlington Towers located at 100 N. Arlington Ave. The renovation allowed them to lease the entire floor to CAEK, Inc. a female-founded software company that provides regulatory compliance and information security solution for the medical industry. The company relocated its headquarters from Fayetteville, Ark.
“CAEK really just jumpstarted all these other projects that we had planned and moved them up on timeline,” Griffith said. “Having them come in and take the entire floor freed up enough bandwidth that we could free up these other projects.”
He said they are seeing more and more companies looking to downtown Reno to relocate their business.
“The demand is exceeding our expectations,” Griffith said.
However, when they looked for another commercial renovation project they found it difficult to find vacant space to purchase in the heart of downtown.
“There are a lot more landlords willing to do tenant improvements that weren’t before,” he said.
The lack of vacant tenant space forced them to look elsewhere. According to Griffith, they are currently in escrow to purchase a 12,000-square-foot building at 634 Ryland St. The commercial building houses two tenants that occupy less than a third of the space. The building is near the Tiny Ten development that HabeRae is building.
“Wells has always been growing and getting cooler and cooler,” he said. “But now with some of these tiny house projects and housing developments” the area is getting more attention.
Once they close escrow on the property, Griffith and Griffith Douglas will begin to look for tenants to fill the building. They explained that the space has the potential to become a number of things. Some of their ideas include a community kitchen, a print shop or a laundry and coffee shop.
“Reno is becoming urban,” Griffith said “What couldn’t have worked here five years ago, could actually make it.”
Reno Engineering also continues to develop in TRIC.
The company owns an eight-acre parcel of land at USA Parkway where they have already built a commercial building at 420 USA Parkway that houses a Subway, Philly’s Cheesesteak and Pizza restaurant and a dentist office. They plan to build a sister building at 440 USA Parkway in the near future to provide additional services to the area. According to Griffith, they plan to break ground on the second building before the end of the year.
“They have so many people out there that need services,” Griffith-Douglass said.
They are also working on a hotel near TRIC for one of their engineering clients, a service that is currently lacking in that area.
Griffith has been in business for more than 20 years and Reno Engineering currently has nine employees. Griffith grew up in Las Vegas and moved to the Biggest Little City to attend University of Nevada, Reno to get his degree in civil engineering.
“It was the best decision I ever made,” Griffith said. “I love it up here and basically never left.”
After spending a few years in Las Vegas after college, Griffith moved back to Reno. He started Reno Engineering in 1993 doing civil engineering and land development planning for South Meadows Business Park and later for TRIC.
“To this day we are still doing this exact thing,” he said. “We still have projects other than our own in those parks.”
In 2005, they started doing their own development projects. Some of these include building the Technology Way Office Building, building the two industrial buildings in Patrick Industrial Park, renovating and later selling a building on Marsh Avenue and more.
When asked about what he likes about the development aspect of his business Griffith said, “one, I get to work with my daughter everyday, if we just did engineering I am not sure I could keep her interest,” he said with a laugh. “(Also) engineering and developing give you a sense of accomplishment because you can see your work.”
Griffith-Douglas is a fifth generation Nevadan and graduated from University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in International Business. She is vice president of Regional Alliance for Downtown, president of the Riverwalk District and a board member for the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project. She started full time with Reno Engineering in 2011.
Both Griffith and Griffith-Douglas say Reno is headed in a positive direction.
“We went so many years. If you could get (companies) here they would love it,” Griffith said. “But you couldn’t get them to buy a plane ticket.”
Now with the work EDAWN and the City along with the Tesla Effect, they are seeing more companies from across the nation interested in moving to northern Nevada.
“As the word gets out, you can see the momentum and the pace picking up,” he said.
Griffith is also seeing more activity from his engineering clients.
“All in all things are going really well,” he said. “The economy is back and clients that were dormant for years are coming back to do new projects.”
For more information about Reno Engineering, visit www.recnv.com.