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Magnolia Companies gear up for big year

John Seelmeyer

Lizanne Stoever rarely sleeps later than 4:30 a.m.

She awakens early and trains for the marathons she runs regularly, then heads to work as president and chief executive officer of The Magnolia Companies.

Stoever may need to set the alarm clock earlier in the next year as the Reno-based developer of office properties takes some big steps:

* Three projects outside of Reno, Magnolia’s first step into what it plans to be a nationwide rollout of its development.

* A follow-up in Reno to its high-profile, amenity-filled Magnolia Village office project at Lakeside and McCarran.

* Completion of an $8 million funding package that will bring outside investors into Magnolia projects.

Locally, the most visible step taken by the company will be construction of the first 37,600 square feet of Magnolia Double R, an office complex at Sandhill Road and Double R Boulevard in Reno’s South Meadows.

That work valued at $7.7 million is expected to begin within 90 days.

The project will include 120,000 square feet of office space in four buildings.

Particularly noteworthy will be a 10,000-squarefoot clubhouse with amenities such as a restaurant, an art studio, a day spa and a yoga studio.

The property also will include a library with deeply upholstered chairs.

Stoever said The Magnolia Companies projects the space will lease for about $2.15 a square foot.

While that’s on the high end of office rents in Reno, it’s below the eye-popping $2.65 the company has gotten this year at the 72,000-square-foot Magnolia Village.

The difference, Stoever said, lies in location South Meadows as opposed to the McCarran financial district.

At the same time, The Magnolia Companies will begin work on an additional 65,000 square feet at the Magnolia Commerce Center it’s developing with DP Partners at Mill and McCarran.

That flexspace project a combination of office and warehouse carries a development value of $8.5 million.

The company also plans this year to introduce a larger version of its high-end office buildings into Las Vegas.

That one, Stoever said, will include a small boutique hotel.

The Las Vegas project will mark the company’s first foray outside of Reno.

Stoever said The Magnolia Companies plans to be in three markets outside of northern Nevada within 24 months, and its five-year plan calls for the company to have a presence in most emerging markets in the United States.

Those ambitious plans will take a difference financial structure than the individual limited liability corporations most of them entirely owned by Stoever that the company has used to finance its earlier projects.

The Magnolia Fund, a private equity fund with a minimum investment of $100,000, is designed to raise $8 million to fund the company’s next round of projects.

Its current portfolio includes 273,000 square feet in the Truckee Meadows.

The company is a long way from the tiny construction outfit Stoever launched 15 years ago with $2,000 in savings after growing up in a ranching family near Gardnerville.

Even so, Stoever said she’s just beginning to hit her stride.

“My entire vision is to build office parks where people enjoy going to work,” she said.

“We approach our office parks as if we’re building hotels.”

Magnolia Village, for instance, offers a private car and driver for tenants and provides housekeeping services.

Stoever, who once handled every detail of the developments herself, acknowledged that a key and difficult step in the company’s growth came from the need for her to let go of the reins and let staff members handle more of the details.

Five years ago, a staff of five handled the development business.Today, 26 work in the company’s south-Reno office.

“It’s all about great people,” Stoever said.

“We look for an attitude more than anything.”

Those employees work for a highly focused, intense CEO who occasionally works through the night until it’s time for her pre-dawn run.

“I don’t do it because I have to,” Stoever


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