Progress at Virginia and Thoma

by Mike Van Houten / Nov 18, 2011

It's been an exciting year thus far for development and redevelopment downtown, not so much for city-funded projects but very much-so for endeavors like Campo, Bowl, CommRow, Siena's re-opening, the completion of Sierra Vista, the list goes on and on.

One of the more exiting projects is happening in Midtown, on the lot bordering Virginia Street, Thoma, and Center Street, plus an alley that cuts through the center of the lot. The lot is a big 'L' shape that cuts behind Rose's cafe.

I don't recall what was on this lot prior, from my memory and time living here it was always vacant land. It was supposed to become Thoma Lofts, but recently the property was bought up by 701 South Virginia Street LLC, i.e. the Carter Brothers who also own Ace Hardware, the building Sup leases, the building Creme is in, the building on the corner of St. Lawrence and Virginia Street, currently under renovation to become two restaurants, rumored to be a yogurt shop, hamburger shop and a coffee shop.

Check out the progress photos below of the Thoma/Virginia project. When it's done, it will be a collection of smaller retail spaces, some freestanding and some connected, fronting a meandering street through the property. The retail spaces will all be small, and designed and priced to appeal to local mom-and-pop shops. The architecture and look and feel will match the surrounding architecture. When I interviewed Tim Carter about the project, he mentioned he wanted this area to be "the pedestrian friendly downtown that downtown used to be". The project will be built out in phases, and when done will comprise 17+ retail spaces. As you can see below, the street is starting to take shape now that the underground utilities have been installed.

Midtown Reno project

Tagged under: Midtown RenoSticks
Post your comments
  • November 18, 2011 - 5:26:14 PM

    Nice work, Mike.

  • November 18, 2011 - 9:03:06 PM

    It will be super important to make sure that none of these buildings turn their back on Thoma Street. If they do that the developer will have effectively built a strip mall. This can be a pretty cool project but they need to make sure they are connected to the pre-existing streets that border the property, otherwise it will come off as suburban.

  • November 21, 2011 - 7:01:16 PM

    If "Carter Court" needs to turn its back on Thoma Street to be viable, it won't be the end of the world. The adjacent Carriage House apartments has already abdicated any human scale at street level on the block. When I first got the chance to review this project, my biggest concern was that the structure at the SVA/Thoma corner be "manly" enough to match the scale of Carriage House, then step down in scale to the rest of SVA's 1 story profile. I thought loft residential along Thoma over the retail would be bitchin', but that probably won't fly in this economy. It looks like The Worth Group is the architect, and they do some pretty good work. A permit was issued last week for 7 grease interceptors to cross the mid-block alley to the sewer main on Center Street. Now they may not all get used, but it sure points to the project setting up as primarily food service.

  • November 22, 2011 - 1:55:55 PM

    Im sure you're right doofus, I will of course reserve judgement until the project is complete. It just seems pretty suburban to build a pedestrian corridor perpendicular to an existing pedestrian corridor for the purposes of having a pedestrian corridor. I am fairly chomping at the bit to see the streetscape improvements done on SVA that are really needed. Of course I expect this project will be first to implement the new standards on its Virginia street frontage.

  • November 22, 2011 - 1:57:28 PM

    Also I don't hate carriage house. I'm all for raising the height of the building line on SVA a few stories one new project at a time.