Groundbreaking at Skypointe, on the corners of McCarran Boulevard and South Virginia Street, expected this summer.
The Skypointe project consists of three different buildings: A six-story, 171,500-square-foot office building; a six-level parking garage with 840 spaces; and a 37,000 square feet of retail and food and beverage space.
The reboot of the most high-profile development project in Greater Reno-Sparks is underway, with groundbreaking at Skypointe, on the corners of McCarran Boulevard and South Virginia Street, expected to begin this summer. Like other notable construction projects, development at Skypointe was slowed by COVID-19, said Todd McKenzie, president of McKenzie Properties Management, Inc. The ball was nearly across the endzone back in March 2020, with many large tenants lined up, but they disappeared when business shut down and McKenzie opted instead to punt and regroup. “We are rebooting everything,” McKenzie told NNBW in an interview last week. McKenzie said he already has equity partners for the project and is in the final stages of lining up construction financing with a local lender. He’s also got a few letters of intent from interested tenants and is working toward getting leases signed. Plans, meanwhile, are working through the city permitting process. The developer is hoping for a mid-July start. “We are confident we will be breaking ground,” McKenzie said.
ONE OF THE BUSIEST CORNERS IN TOWN McCarran and South Virginia is one of the busiest corners in all of Reno-Sparks. In 2020 more than 23,200 cars per day passed by on McCarran, while more than 21,400 passed by on South Virginia Street, the Nevada Department of Transportation reported. “It is the No. 1 best retail and office location in Reno,” McKenzie said. “That is Main and Main. For retailers, that is the absolute best place to be, and it's the same for office. That corner is the nexus of the entire city.” The Skypointe project consists of three buildings. • A six-story, 171,500 square-foot office building • A six-level parking garage with 840 spaces • 37,000 square feet of retail and food and beverage space Despite its high-profile location, the site has sat undeveloped for decades. McKenzie acquired the parcel and adjacent Corporate Point office building in February 2019.
Courtesy McKenzie Property Management Inc. The Skypointe project consists of three different buildings: A six-story, 171,500-square-foot office building; a six-level parking garage with 840 spaces; and a 37,000 square feet of retail and food and beverage space.
First new office tower in decades Prior to McKenzie’s development of a modest three-story office building at the south end of Kietzke Lane, there had not been a new three-story speculative office building constructed in the Truckee Meadows in decades, he said. The six-story building will be the first spec office project constructed in the Truckee Meadows since 1987. Adding that much class A office space to regional inventory likely will lure in some companies that had previously passed over Northern Nevada due to its lack of available office space, McKenzie added. “There’s been no place for companies looking to expand or relocate to Reno,” he said. “We don’t even get looks (from prospective companies) because we don’t have the product. And now, it’s to the point where the companies that are here want to expand but they have nowhere to go. The office shortage is actually hurting us. “Office tenants will be getting an urban campus with restaurants, coffee shops and retail all right there,” he added. “Given that there is no supply and there is no class A space available, we see rents continuing to trend upward.” The CBRE office team of Matt Grimes and David Woods will handle office leasing. New retail The retail component of Skypointe likely will be a bit more corporate than homegrown, McKenzie said. The strategy is to meet demand from corporate retailers that have been unable to find desirable locations in the region, he added. “If you are looking to come to Reno, where do you go? There are no well-located nice new spaces, and there are so many services and goods that we need in this city.” Boutique retail locations such as Rancharrah and South Creek Retail Center at Foothill Road (which McKenzie built and sold) have become go-to destinations for regional consumers. Unique retail redevelopment projects – Reno Experience District, Reno Public Market – are expected to follow suit and be embraced by Reno residents when they open later this year. This new development project also fits that same mold. “Even before the growth hit, we needed more services,” McKenzie said. “We need more retail and office space.” Roxanne Stevenson, senior vice president of retail services at Colliers, will handle retail leasing. Construction timeline Skypointe is expected to take as long as 24 months to build out, McKenzie said. Ongoing supply chain issues, materials shortages and long lead times will extend the build time from a standard 18 months or so, he added. “There are definitely some super long lead times with certain items, and we will be getting those ordered on Day 1 to try to mitigate risk,” he said. “There are long lead times for steel and glass, and transformers have a 67-week lead time. Once we sign a contract we have to order those. Just getting materials here from wherever they are coming from, that’s the biggest challenge.” World-renowned architectural firm Gensler of San Francisco is designing Skypointe and is currently working with subcontractors to coordinate their design teams, McKenzie said. The developer has engaged a regional general contractor to construct the office building and parking garage, while his company will handle construction of the retail building. “We are very lucky to be able to develop this – it is a dream project that will elevate the whole city,” McKenzie said.