After moving, I’m a downtown believer | nnbw.com
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After moving, I’m a downtown believer

Tim Ruffin

In April of 2007, I wrote an article in Northern Nevada Business Weekly entitled, “I’m a downtown believer.”

In November, after a 15-year absence from working in a downtown building, my office moved to the seventh floor of 100 West Liberty, the Museum Tower. At first, I was a little apprehensive that my staff and fellow brokers might not like it. But fortunately for me, they have all loved the experience.

As I look out my window at downtown, so much has changed in that 15-year period. Gone are the Mapes Hotel, the Pioneer Casino, and the train whistle. The City Hall is now at 1 E. First St. and the Nevada Children’s Discovery Museum is in the old city hall building. The Mills Lane Justice Center is at One Sierra Street, and Washoe County purchased 350 South Center, increasing the office worker density in downtown. This increase in density provided some of the demand for downtown amenities.

The Truckee River Corridor has changed the most. The kayak park, the theatres, the plethora of restaurants, the ice skating rink, the Siena Hotel/Casino, and the Aces baseball stadium have made that area come alive. Soon the renovated U.S. Post Office building will add to the culture of that corridor.

The office buildings have seen over 40,000 square feet of new and expanding tenants each of the last two years. However, with a 19.5 percent total vacancy in downtown office buildings, there is plenty of work left to be done. Progress is being made with most of the activity coming from law firms, creative firms, and technology firms availing themselves to the amenities of downtown. In addition, Apple will be adding a new office in the Tessera District between downtown and the university.

Almost every major office building is under new ownership. Renovations have been made in most of the buildings including remodeled lobbies, energy management systems, and upgraded exteriors. The downtown office market has never been more attractive.

With the creation of the Palladio and the Montage, the opportunity for live/work in downtown Reno has been rejuvenated. New restaurants such as Campo, Granite St., The Brewer’s Cabinet, SoDo, MidTown Eats, SUP, and many others have made the culinary scene just that much stronger.

The arts are also better represented with the new Nevada Museum of Art building on Liberty Street. You can now walk to the art museum for a lunch at the Composition restaurant and then admire an art collection to clear your head.

Shopping has also become better with the redevelopment activity in mid-town. Clothing, art, and office supplies are now well represented. Not to mention the new bars offering an enhanced night life for young adults.

The ability to walk to restaurants, the arts, movies, baseball, and other amenities has all my employees thrilled. As I said six years ago, thank you to our civic and political leaders for the vision and commitment to make our downtown come alive again. I eagerly look forward to Colliers International being a part of the culture created in downtown Reno.

Tim Ruffin is senior vice president and managing partner of the Colliers International office in Reno. Contact him at tim.ruffin@colliers.com or 775-823-4670.


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