Reno Midtown mixed-use development celebrates grand opening

1401 Midtown, the former bank building at 1401 S. Virginia St., was redeveloped by S3 Development Company LLC.

1401 Midtown, the former bank building at 1401 S. Virginia St., was redeveloped by S3 Development Company LLC.

The renovation of Midtown’s new mixed-use redevelopment is now complete. The 21,000-square-foot project includes a combination of retail, office and restaurant occupants.

The project, called 1401 Midtown, is now home to Bristlecone Holdings, a local financial technology firm, Michael & Sons Jewelers and Morgan’s Lobster Shack and Fish Market. This is the second location for Morgan’s Lobster Shack with their original location in Truckee, Calif.

“It’s wonderful,” Blake Smith, chairman and CEO of S3 Development Company, LLC, said about the redevelopment at the grand opening celebration held Oct. 27. “It has been a couple years in the making.”

Smith acquired the property back in 2014. The original 9,000-square-foot building was built in the 1950s and previously housed the headquarters for Heritage Bank of Nevada. It took extensive construction to expand the square footage and modernize the property into the new mixed-use development. Improvements to the original building included exposing the brick walls in the space that now houses Bristlecone Holdings.

M2 Construction and Homecrafters were the contractors on the project and Mike McGonagle and Tod Copenhaver were the architects. Smith explained in a previous phone interview with NNBW that each of the three tenants worked with their own interior designer to customize the space for their needs.

The redevelopment also features a nearly 2,000-square-foot outdoor plaza and patio area. It provides an outdoor dinning space for Morgan’s Lobster Shack. According to the restaurant’s owner, Shawn Whitney, they are also planning to install a fire pit in the patio.

Morgan’s Lobster Shack opened for business Thursday, Nov. 3. The restaurant is leasing space in both the first and second floor of the building. The bottom floor contains the main dinning room while the upstairs boasts a cocktail lounge and oyster bar. They have about 30 employees and will be open seven days a week excluding some major holidays.

“We are simple and fresh,” Whitney said about the restaurant. “ … We are just really excited” to be in this new location.

1401 Midtown is currently 92 percent leased and Smith said he has interest in the last remaining space. The development also includes 33 on-site parking spaces and 17 on-street parking spaces, something that is rare in Midtown.

“This project truly means so much to Midtown,” Mayor Hillary Schieve said at the grand opening.

Schieve recalled how different Midtown was when she first opened her business, Plato’s Closest.

“If you remember this part of town it was seedy and all blight,” Schieve said.

Today, Midtown is thriving.

“We still have a lot of work to do but it is projects like this that really makes (Midtown) stand out,” Schieve said.

Smith explained that he spent a significant amount of time looking at the Midtown market before deciding to invest in the area.

“We kept looking at (Midtown) to see if was a fad or if it was reality,” Smith said. “Let me tell you, it is reality.”

He said that he feels Midtown is still in its infancy and that the area will continue to experience revitalization.

“In five or seven years Midtown and this city will not be the place we walked around tonight,” Smith said.

The next phase of the mixed-use project is to build the residential units to create a live-work community. The residential development is called Tonopah Lofts and will be located adjacent to the commercial development. The lofts will consist of eight, 2-story, 1,700-square-foot townhomes. Smith plans to start construction on the residential units within the next 90 days.

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. S3 Development is also working on constructing a residential development called Midtown Lofts on the corner of Sinclair and Stewart streets. He said he is also looking at other acquisitions for redevelopment. For more information on S3 Development projects, visit


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