Dramatic facelift beginning for ‘heart of Midtown’ | nnbw.com

Dramatic facelift beginning for ‘heart of Midtown’

John Seelmeyer

Architect Jack Hawkins was thrilled to get back into designing a commercial building after the long dark night of the recession.

And when the building was in his neighborhood, a neighborhood where he’s designed several iconic buildings, so much the better.

Work is scheduled to begin this week on Hawkins’ next project, a dramatic facelift of a building that’s a cornerstone of Reno’s Midtown district.

The building at 777 S. Center St. that long was home to Maytan Music will be redeveloped into a restaurant, retail and office development. It’s being rebranded as “777.”

The project designed by Hawkins Associates Architecture + Interiors of Reno will wrap a sleek steel-and concrete exterior around the building, which was constructed in 1959.

Hawkins, whose previous work in the neighborhood includes the Stremmel Gallery and 8 on Center, said his challenge was finding a way to create an architecturally interesting building while retaining the solid existing structure.

Plans call for creation of a landscaped courtyard with a second-floor balcony facing Cheney Street, says Thomas Johnson, whose family trust purchased the building from the Maytan family last month.

Landscaping also is planned in traffic-calming peninsulas to be added at the corner of Cheney and Center streets.

Tom Jo Lynch, the daughter of Johnson and an associate at the Sperry Van Ness office he oversees in Reno, says a key element in the design is construction of an interior walkway that will link on-site parking on the north side of the building to the courtyard space on the south side.

A clock tower will be among the architectural features of the redeveloped building.

Spaces for lease in the building will range from 1,200 square feet to more than 10,000 square feet. Johnson and Lynch have said the exact configuration of restaurant, office and retail uses will depend on market demand.

Lease rates start at $1.45 a square foot, triple-net.

“We see this corner as the heart of Midtown,” says Johnson.

Shaheen Beauchamp Builders LLC of Carson City is the general contractor on the project. Gabbart & Woods Structural Engineers of Reno will provide engineering services.

The work is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2015.