Local Developers Come Together to Plan for the Future of MidTown
Seven key properties in Reno’s MidTown are under new ownership today, following one of the single largest transactions in MidTown history; a move to unify the growing neighborhood known for its unique blend of arts, small businesses, and architectural charm.
The approximately $17 million purchase, a collaboration between Tolles Development Company and Marmot Properties – both prominent community developers with a long-standing history in the Reno community – totals 72,101 square feet in the heart of Reno’s MidTown District. The area, which has recently been hailed for its rapid revitalization, has been a bustling commercial and residential neighborhood for nearly a century. The buildings acquired include:
Six Seven Seven South, built in 1915, 677 South Virginia Street has been home to multiple iconic Reno businesses. Recently renovated, its tenants include Finbomb Sushi Burritos, Never Ender Clothing, andCulture Clothing.
Saint Lawrence Commons, previously known as the Frohlich building and built in 1918, Saint Lawrence Commons is where the MidTown renaissance began. Tenants include Dreamer’s Coffee, Crème Café, andDress Like That.
Cheney Place, a 1908 property that is an adaptive reuse of former residential property, with tenants including Angels Among Us, Awake and Aging, andCrystal Cove.
Martin Crossing, built in 1979, Martin Crossing houses retail and office space. Current tenants include Sippee’s Kid’s Clothing andHappy Happy Joy Joy Gifts.
Sticks, constructed between 2014 - 2017, Sticks is a modern architectural showpiece with ground floor restaurant and retail space, as well as a natural light-bathed second floor “greenhouse.” Tenants include Two Chicks Restaurant, Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant, and Transcend Interiors.
Triple Seven Center, one of the newest additions to MidTown, 777 South Center Street was built out in 2016 as an adaptive reuse of a building known as the long-time home of Maytan Music Center. Present tenants include Piñon Bottling Company, Noble Pie Pizza, Arario Korean Fusion, andMidTown Diamonds.
Future Development Site, the vacant lot at 800 S. Virginia St. currently serves as the main parking for Triple Seven Center. One of the last undeveloped parcels in MidTown, possible development plans include parking and mixed-use (retail, residential, and/or office).
Tolles and Marmot began working together in 2016, although both partners have long-standing histories in the development of Reno. Tolles Development, led by veteran commercial real estate executive Par Tolles, recently made headlines with the acquisition of six Reno office buildings. With an office in MidTown, Marmot has invested over 10 million dollars into Reno’s urban neighborhoods, and has rehabilitated/redeveloped over 100 residential units since 2008.
The Reno-based companies were approached by sellers Bernie and Tim Carter, and Tom Johnson, who sought to sell their consolidated properties. While several out-of-town investors also expressed interest in the sale, the properties were ultimately purchased by the local duo.
“Our projects in MidTown have always been for locals by locals. We believe Tolles Development Company and Marmot Properties, both local firms, will continue this ideal, and we are very pleased they are the purchasers for our MidTown properties,” Bernie Carter said.
Plans for preservation of the MidTown culture are an integral element to the future of the neighborhood.
“MidTown has evolved into a unique ecosystem where small business, eateries, street art and nightlife flourish, thanks to the dedication of the Carters and Tom Johnson, as well as groups like the MidTown Merchants Association and business owners who have had faith in this neighborhood from the beginning,” Par Tolles said. “We’re dedicated to upholding the integrity and heritage of this Reno landmark.”
“Strong relationships with local tenants and their employees, many of whom are our residents, are the key to the continued prosperity and growth of the neighborhood,” said Eric Raydon, co-founder and managing member of Marmot. “We will bring the same high touch, high quality, neighborhood-scale approach to this portfolio as we have with all of our MidTown properties, and will consult with the MidTown Merchants Association on our future projects to further enhance the character and expansion of MidTown.”
With the purchase of the buildings, the companies inherit an eclectic neighborhood rich in art and architectural diversity. Tolles and Marmot plan to honor the neighborhood’s artistic integrity, retaining original structures of the many early century buildings. The companies will also work with local street artists, such as Joe C. Rock, whose work can be found throughout MidTown and downtown Reno, to complement existing structures.
Tolles and Marmot anticipate future projects for MidTown may include additional commercial and residential density, mixed-use infill development, improvements to parking, and community-focused events such as Burning Man compression/decompression events, MidTown Art Walk, and Reno Bites.
“Tolles and Marmot are a vital part of the downtown and MidTown vision that The Johnson Family Trust contributed to several years ago with our Trust’s repurposing of the old Maytan Music Center into the vibrant, mixed-use building now known as 777-Heart of Midtown,” Tom Johnson said. “We wish them the best in their future plans.”