Downtown Reno Post Office Retail And Plaza

by Mike Van Houten / Apr 10, 2012

MAJOR UPDATE 4/10/12 - The USPS and a real estate broker specializing in the sale of post office assets announced the sale of the downtown Post Office to the City of Reno. The USPS stated that the 33,000-square-foot building is too large for their small 5-employee operation, and that a new post office location will be constructed somewhere downtown where the downtown PO boxes will be moved to. They could not guarantee people would be able to keep their same PO Box numbers when that happens.

Dave Aiazzi was present at the meeting, and added that this was the USPS's decision, not the City of Reno's, and they felt it was in the best interest of the City to acquire the building. He mentioned there would be an extensive public comment period before any decisions are made regarding the building, and the sale has to be approved by the City Council as well...The soonest such a proposal could come to them would be 30 to 60 days from now. Hopefully they will revert back to the plan of creating a riverfront plaza and eliminating parking in front of the river. I expect the City will release a press release soon.


The City of Reno is in negotiations to take over most of the downtown Post Office and convert it to retail, as well as build a plaza where the current post office parking lot is, and then move the parking lot over to the south side, where Mill Street is. As part of this process, the Redevelopment Agency has found a new location for the downtown post office, which is on 6ht Street just east of Wells Avenue Overpass. There has been some clean up issues on the site in order to meet the strict government standards required for federal buildings, but the proejct is moving along.

Included with this project although being treated as a separate entity is a plaza down to the River, pictured in the rendering above. CH2M Hill is in charge of the design, and construction on the plaza portion of this project is expected to begin very soon.

View Larger Map


5/01/09 - The Geometric design was chosen and modified just a bit to accomodate for more shade trees.

4/17/08 - NEW POST OFFICE PLAZA RENDERINGS AND NAME! GIVE YOUR INPUT - City officials, CH2MHILL, and the reno-ites via a few public meetings have narrowed the new post office plaza design to two main concepts. The thought process on this project has come a long way, when comparing the first concepts with these. It's gone from a basic West Street-type plaza river access to 2 final concepts which involve some really cool design elements and landscaping. Many of the new features incorporated were a direct result of public input. I described these in great detail in my CAC Meeting Update. Here are brief descriptions of the two again:
Design 1: Geometric Classic Option - inspired by geometric patterns of the building.
Design 2: River Terrace Option: The distinction of this one than previous one is center portion of the design is more curvilinear, providing more flowing forms to the river.
So, check out the two concepts and tell me which you like better. I prefer the Classic Geometric option as it seems to break up the terraces more. CH2MHill prefers the River Terrace design. Folks in the 4/1 CAC Meeting where it was presented tended to lean toward the Geometric Concept.
ALSO, the post office plaza has yet to be named, so check out my new poll and pick what you like the best :)

Classic Geometric Design (click image to enlarge)

River Terrace Design (click image to enlarge)

Both designs side by side top view (click to enlarge)


Old Design

Additional Info

Current Status:
Design being finalized. Funding has been identified and approved for the plaza portion of the proejct, which should commence construction this fall.


Other Revitalization Projects

Bridge Lighting
10 North Virginia
250 Bell Street
Office 507
4th Street Transit Station
Facade Improvement - Virginia Street
Freight House District
Nevada Discovery Museum
Post Office Revitalization and Plaza
Reno Aces Ballpark
ReTRAC Train Trench and Cover
State Street Center
Street Beautification Downtown
West Street Market
Urban Whitewater Park

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  • May 8, 2007 - 12:37:47 PM

    Yes, as long as the wonderful 1930s architecture is not so altered that one could not recognize it.

  • November 13, 2007 - 3:48:40 PM

    Hmm I think it would be awesome if the the whole post office could be covered in glass and still make room for retail shops and cafes with a garden terrace on the rooftop, and at night it would be awesome if the whole glass structure could be covered with good lightning so as to give a lot of emphasis on the beautiful art deco building.

  • March 28, 2008 - 1:41:59 PM

    How may I reach the Postmaster, or someone who can answer questions about mail boxes, on the internet?

  • April 18, 2008 - 8:17:14 AM

    I think both options look great. If I had to pick a favorite I'd say the classic geometric only because it incorporates a long continuous walkway at the rivers edge.

  • April 18, 2008 - 9:51:55 AM

    I believe there should be a pedestrian link with the Riverwalk to the west which should continue along the river, but i dont believe another large open plaza is the solution, considering there is already one directly across the river. Downtown is in need of more retail, restaurant and office space, especially along this valuable riverfront property. With the reno climate a large open plaza would only be useful half the year as opposed to commercial space with great river views.

  • April 18, 2008 - 10:18:30 AM

    I think the retail commercial space will be inside the post office Paul, and the plaza will kind of compliment the retail inside the post office.

  • April 18, 2008 - 10:42:55 AM

    I would propose to continue the riverwalk in a similar fashion across the site, have a (3) story addition to the historic post office along the river which would compliment the beautiful historic building and its materials with a modern touch, create a large courtyard between the (2) structures that connects to the riverside pedestrian link, reopen the original proposed post office skylight, and create a grand entrance at the east and west end of the courtyard connecting the two buildings. Retail and restaurant on the bottom floor for both building and office space above for both buildings. Last, possibly propose rooftop restaurant/bar space that views both east and west down the river.

  • April 18, 2008 - 3:26:16 PM

    The Post Office design no. 2 looks better to me. Also wonder if they could make a small trout pool with a little fishing platform in front of the river? A designated place to "plant a pole".

  • April 19, 2008 - 12:57:48 PM

    I like both, or either ... You have a typo in your click for the first of the three images. You link is: .../Post_Office_Geometric_Perspective_.jpg should be: .../Post_Office_Geometric_Perspective.jpg

  • April 22, 2008 - 3:05:05 PM

    I like the classic geometric option. It seems to match the building a bit better to me.

  • April 30, 2008 - 11:11:01 AM

    @ Paul - There's a lot of setback and riverfront corridor requirements set forth in the City of Reno's development guidelines that might make that second building and plaza a bit of a challenge, but that's a great way of thinking - infill that has a distinct relationship with the existing elements of Reno. As to the designs proposed for the plaza, I can see good elements in each concept. I am more drawn to the "River Terrace" design concept because it uses many of the same elements that already exist in the pedestrian corridors and plazas along the Truckee River - the asymmetrical lower levels and curved staircases are already established at the West Street plaza, and Wingfield park is very much asymmetrical in its layout. Neither design ignores the design elements of the post office, but I think the contrasts offered by the "terrace" plan are very appropriate!

  • June 20, 2008 - 12:47:23 PM

    I like the Classic Geometric design better than the River Terrace design. It looks a little more historical to me, and I like the step down to the river better that just have a wall up for the walkway as there appears to be in the River Terrace design.

  • July 19, 2009 - 9:08:36 AM

    Ihikzad think its a wonderful project but please save the original art works on that beautiful old building