Arlington Towers retail sold, remodeling work under way |

Arlington Towers retail sold, remodeling work under way

Rob Sabo

Vince Griffith, president of Reno Engineering and head of Reno Land and Cattle, has his eye on downtown development opportunities even if they are costing him a bit of sweat equity.

Griffith spent several hours last week bucking flooring to a subcontractor who is remodeling ground-floor retail space at Arlington Towers. Griffith purchased the 11,000-square-foot space, his second acquisition in the downtown area, in late December for $350,000. California Credit Union of Glendale was the seller, Washoe County records show.

The space was about 40 percent vacant, but Griffith is finalizing lease negotiations with a tenant expected to take 4,000 square feet in the next week. He’s remodeling that space and the remaining 1,500 square feet of empty space, which had not been touched in more than 30 years.

“We are pulling newspapers out of the walls from the 1970s,” he says, “and the electrical panel still has the original markings from the 1960s layout where it used to be liquor store. It is not a paint-and-shampoo-the-carpet sort of project.”

Renovations include asbestos removal and cleanup totaling more than $40,000.

“It isn’t like remodeling an 1860s house on the river, but it is certainly dated,” he adds. “No one has gotten in there and put in some elbow grease in years, and that is what it needed. You have got to bring it up to modern standards.”

Full-service rents at the Arlington property start at $1.60 per square foot. Griffith is seeking an office user for the remaining vacant space. Griffith in 2012 also purchased 6,000-square-feet of office space on the second floor of the Palladio and moved Reno Engineering’s offices there along with three other tenants. He’s seeking other downtown property to renovate and lease.

“I have always wanted to be downtown, but the projects I worked on pulled me out to the edges of town. Downtown works for me right now as a central hub much it is much more convenient. I definitely would like to do some other things downtown; it has plenty of room.”