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Reno Public Market

Awards Category

Commercial Architecture - Built

Project Summary

The Reno Public Market is the reimagination of Reno’s defunct 50+ year old Shoppers Square Mall. Void of large-scale anchors, the mall hall diminished in stature from a once predominant retails center to a complete afterthought. Many of the remaining tenants were paying such low rents that improving the center was not economically feasible. The Developer purchased the center with a concept of repositioning the center, away from retail only shops to focus on community. Infusing the center with two mid-level anchors along with capturing Reno’s arts, food truck and craft beer culture, the center began a new life. Designed as a collection of buildings, void of an overbearing architectural theme, the project is inherently timeless. The creation of an open-air food hall at the center of the development connects the adjacent tenants and repositions the site as Midtown’s central community gathering place. An emphasis on food, food culture and communal gathering is at the heart of this master plan. Existing tenant spaces received modernized facades, storefront sitework and interior renovations. There are two freestanding structures along Plumb Lane to house additional local businesses. Investment in the community surpasses $30 million and has brought synergy to the formerly dilapidated property.

Project Narrative

The project is inherently an urban restoration project nestled in the heart of Reno, Nevada. With multiple aged buildings renovated for new uses, some existing dilapidated areas being demolished and new elements to complete the coherent ensemble, without an overbearing architecture style. The Reno+Public+Market emerges not just as a retail destination but as a testament to urban planning and architectural innovation. The focal point, the Food Hall, is the striking centerpiece, redefining the very essence of communal spaces while fostering a sense of unity and neighborhood coherence. The deliberate integration of aged and new, strategically connects adjacent tenants and positions itself as the prominent gathering place in Reno’s MidTown urban core. Achievements – Restoring vitality to a major intersection in the center of town becomes a focal point for the MidTown urban district. While certain national anchor tenants demanded their “corporate” façade, others adopted and modified their operation to fit within the rehabilitated space. Locally based tenants caught the spirit of the project and welcomingly worked with the different spaces. The intention of the project is to restore the central urban property with mixed use of commercial spaces with a new “aged” look, but not dated and to reclaim he presence of the of the existing. The use of new metal siding combined with the reclaimed masonry facades and the new concrete and glass entry at the Food Hall weave together an urban language of old and new buildings giving a “Jane Jacobsesque” solution. The construction budget for the Landlord work was $30,000,000. All tenant improvements were over and above that amount. The final landlord construction cost was $32,300,000. We wanted to create a unique community gathering space, centered around a local identity. A majority of the residents in this area of Reno earn less than the median income. The creation of the Food Hall focused on the existing Food Truck Vendor Community for tenants gave an instant recognizable identity while not allowing any national chains we eliminated the Food Court stigma. The adjacent properties that are not a part of the redevelopment and could not be directly impacted by our project caused logistical development issues which resulted in the multi-phased plan. Existing tenants that were being relocated had to remain open during construction until their new spaces were ready to move in. There was an emphasis that there is no “back of the project” however, new tenants brought in a demand for more delivery space that the original center did not have which required a meshing of delivery space access with pedestrian access shops in those areas. Innovative design details – Taking a 50+ year old retail center and combining new modern construction with the existing we discovered former concealed masonry facades that we restored and became an unintended part of the overall design language. The Food Hall design, although a brand-new structure, took cues from a repositioned shuttered factory giving the center an essential element to the collection of aged buildings.

Sustainable Design & Materials

We removed every existing mechanical and electrical system component. Nothing from the previous eras of construction would comply with modern energy requirements. In addition to designing new mechanical and electrical systems throughout the development, the Food Hall uses operable windows and roll up doors to allow natural ventilation in the space at appropriate times of the year while the orientation of the Food Hall façade allows for passive heating during the winter months. All tenants are separately metered, including the individual Food Hall tenants. We saved as much of the existing façade materials as possible, reducing our impact on local landfills and specified new materials that could be sourced within 500 miles to reduce carbon emissions from shipping. There is an emphasis on indoor multi-use spaces so that areas are not dormant while being conditioned. For example, corridors were widened so that they become seating areas for the Food Hall rather than just passageways reducing the amount of developed area along with reducing mechanical and electrical system demands. The most sustainable buildings are the ones already built. By modernizing the existing structure we removed substantial environmental impacts of new construction.

Project Stats

Square Feet


Green Building Designation(s)

Date of Completion

September 2022

Project Location

370 Casazza Dr, Reno, NV 89502, USA

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