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Midtown renaissance: New construction, tenants

Anne Knowles
aknowles@nnbw.biz

Midtown Reno’s transformation, a retail renaissance thought of as a grassroots effort but made possible in large part by Bernie Carter and his Dacole investment group, shows no signs of slowing down.

Construction is nearly complete on a multi-tenant building in the 700 block of South Virginia Street, says Carter, whose Dacole group launched its efforts several years ago with the purchase of the 56,000-square-foot lot.

The building, at 704 S. Virginia St., includes a greenhouse atop a restaurant space, designed for a client who wanted to grow vegetables to be consumed in its eatery, bringing a whole new meaning to the “locally grown” movement popular in the dining industry.



“At the 11th hour they decided not to do it,” says Carter. “But we thought it was such a great idea we decided to keep it. We have three or four people looking at it now.”

The buildings’ first tenant to open will be a Mexican restaurant, Carter recently told a luncheon group hosted by the Regional Alliance for Downtown.



The building is part of the Sticks project development designed by WorthGroup architects. The next two buildings planned for the project are finishing up their design phase and construction should start in the next 90 days, says Carter. The project will contain a total of 16 tenants.

A French restaurant is about to open at 701 S. Virginia St., another Dacole building known for its longtime former tenant, Del Mar Station, which now houses six small businesses including Wedge, a cheese shop.

A children’s clothing store and a toy store recently opened at another Carter-owned building at 955 S. Virginia St.

Farther down the road, the vacant pink building in the 1100 block that once housed Romantic Sensations is now under contract to a friend of Carter’s and should close within 45 days, he says. The 13,000-square-foot building may become home to a health club.

Carter attributes the enviable success of midtown to the fact he leases only to local mom-and-pop businesses and excludes national chains, check-cashing outfits and lingerie stores, which already dot the downtown landscape. He also cites what he called a guerrilla marketing campaign conducted by the Midtown Merchant’s Association.

Carter is also known as the developer of the old post office in downtown Reno, a project planned to combine 30,000 square feet of office space with 15,000 square feet of retail space.

The request for proposal to landscape the property has gone out and will be the first phase of the project. The landscaping will be based on the original design created in 1933, which Carter acquired with the property.

“It’s much simpler than what was there and shows off the building much better,” says Carter. “We’re very excited about it.”

Once completed, the design documents will be on display at either the post office or at the University of Nevada, Reno.