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Buyer of 1 East Liberty to start major renovation

The locally based investment group that acquired the 96,832-square-foot office building at 1 E. Liberty St. plans a $1.6 million renovation and expansion of the downtown building.

Blake Smith of Reno, who leads One East Liberty LLC, the investment group that acquired the building, said last week construction is scheduled to begin in early June.

Washoe County records show the investment group paid $5.98 million for the building, acquiring it from U.S. Bancorp.



U.S. Bank will remain the signature tenant of the building at South Virginia and Liberty streets. New signage also will brand the building as “1 East Liberty.”

Smith said the upgrade of the building will include the addition of an 1,800-square-foot drive-through building facing Virginia Street. Tenants are expected to be coffee and quick-food outlets, and the plans include a plaza with outdoor seating.



Other work will include:

Renovation of the lobby, including 2,000 square feet of new office and retail space, and updating of elevators.

Updating heating and air conditioning systems with high-efficiency units and an energy-management system.

Addition of energy-efficient lighting in the building and garage.

Resurfacing and painting of the parking garage.

Additional trees and landscaping.

The NAI Alliance office properties group of Dominic Brunetti, Scott Shanks and Chase Whittemore has an exclusive contract for leasing the building and also helped broker the sale.

A letter of intent from a potential client has been signed for the entire 13,000-square-foot sixth floor of the building, the brokerage said last week.

Proposals have been prepared for companies, both out-of-market and local, that are shopping for a total of more than 30,000 square feet of office space. Available spaces range from 500 to 15,000 square feet.

Smith noted that the building has 14-foot-high floor plates and 10-foot glass windows on all floors.

“By opening up the floors with the true feel of the exposed ceilings in the building we have already had an astonishing amount of demand,” he said.

He said most of the construction is planned at night to reduce disruption for tenants. Construction is expected to take several months.

Smith, who also is the managing partner of Somersett Development Co., said the purchasers believe renovation of the building marks another large step in the revitalization of downtown Reno.

NorthMarq Capital LLC arranged acquisition financing of $5 million for the purchase of the building.

The financing arranged by Dennis Sidbury of NorthMarq’s San Francisco office and Thomas J. Powell of the company’s Las Vegas office was based on a four-year, interest-only term arranged by NorthMarq through its relationship with a bridge lender, Sidbury said.

The financing also includes funds to cover the costs of leasing the building, he said.

NNBW staff