News-3-7-07 Terry Hendry Destination

3/7/07 - DOWNTOWN RENO TO BE A 'DESTINATION RESORT' - Terry Hendry on Channel 2 - Discusses top plans for council ....interesting about acquiring the post office and converting it to retail. According to the article.... "We're gonna make them happen, we're gonna get shovels in the ground, get everybody hard hats and we're gonna get this stuff under construction." Particularly what are your views on converting the post office to retail?

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Posted by: Crystal - 3/7/2007 4:15:00 PM
Will the post office actually close? Or just part of it converted to retail and it would still function as a post office. I would dread having to drive all the way to Vassar when my business is across the street from the downtown one.

Posted by: Steve - 3/8/2007 2:00:28 AM
The plan is for the "main" Post Office to be reduced to a much smaller branch facility. Then, they want to attract both a retail and restaurant component into the freed up portion. Staff "thinks" they can buy the facility for $5.5 million (by year end) and then complete the site work (terraces down to river, lower level walkway under Virginia Street connecting west to existing walkway, and converting Mill St. between Post Office and Pioneer Theater to a replacement parking lot) by 2009 for an additional $3.3 million. Council authourized them to proceed with the planned acquisition. Council created yet another subcommitte (headed by Sharon Zadra) to study the latest 10 North canopy proposal for another two weeks or so - presumably to determine what degree of electrical and sound hookups will be required. The proposed flexible fiberglass material is the same as the roofing material used in the Denver airport. Much of the discussion was based upon what type of summer use might be made of the plaza and it seemed that they agreed that it would be more for various community events than for concerts which would mostly remain at Wingfield. Completion of both 10 North projects projected by end of 2008. Council also approved new negotiations to build a THREE story retail facility at 10 North - unless its height is changed again :-) Council also authorized staff to proceed with the Eco-Channel which was expected to be started in a month or two and completed THIS YEAR. Council wants all three projects (10 North, Post Office and Eco-channel) completed by 2009. Then, when Grants Landing and its river access facility are completed, it wants to build a second kayak course going on downriver from that point with the two courses connected by the eco-channel. If it all happens, it will be a HUGE downtown transition.

Posted by: Justin - 3/8/2007 5:34:36 AM
Good question Crystal. There is an article on RGJ's website about yesterdays meeting, but it doesn't really clarify the issue much. With all the projected population growth in downtown Reno over the next 5 years, it doesn't make sense to get rid of the post office, unless they plan to open a larger one somewhere downtown. Forcing people to get into their cars and drive a few miles to Vassar Street is not a smart move IMHO.

Posted by: Willy - 3/8/2007 8:20:45 AM
I like the idea of converting the downtown post office to retail

Posted by: James S - 3/8/2007 8:23:21 AM
A Destination resort can't be a destination resort without a grocery store downtown.

Posted by: David - 3/8/2007 8:29:37 AM
This is all fine for the summer...but what about the winter? Businesses cannot survive seasonally downtown, they need a full-featured plan to draw people downtown in the winter as well, besides an ice skating rink. We should have a winter Arttown event as well.

Posted by: Steve - 3/8/2007 9:16:58 AM
On the Post Office... The terrace plan and its below street level walkway connection will not work if some version of routing water around the old Virginia bridge (to save it) is selected as the preferred flood control option. A spokesperson for the Downtown Improvement Association (DIA) representing business interests, addressed the council and implored it to select the new bridge option and to also make the bridge replacement an integral a part of the expedited revamping of the area.