One topic that's really gotten a lot of discussion in my circles lately has been downtown Reno, and by extension, what we call "Midtown." A year ago, I tried to convince a newspaper friend of mine from the City (caps for SF) to consider an article about the changes taking place here.  Mark Estee, a Johnson and Wales-trained chef who has been taking over the downtown culinary scene had recently opened his Heritage Restaurant on the bottom floor of the Whitney Peak Hotel (no smoking, no slot machines, and the hotel that broke the Reno mold is getting great reviews from as far afield as England as Reno's new "hip" hangout ~ fancy that). It was a tough sell.

But since that time, I have seen the transformation first-hand. Downtown Reno, long a freeway ad for slot machines and free color TV, is now attracting well-heeled buyers from other metro areas who like the easy access to the mountains, an international airport, and and a hip new urban cultural cultural scene.

A recent convert is a client of mine from the City (Cap for San Francisco) who purchased an apartment here. Reno was on a short list that included Raleigh, NC and Ashland, Ore., and following many property viewings and a long lunch at Campo (another of Mark Estee's amazing restaurants), Reno won out. Like another friend who migrated from big acreage in Truckee, Ca., this client was attracted to the Montage, one of several high-rise apartments in downtown Reno. 

The Montage is an old Reno hotel that was taken down to steel and concrete and completely remodeled by a developer who had the misfortune of hitting the market at the beginning of the slide. But the success of recent sales speak for themselves.  In the past year, more than $11 million worth of real estate has changed hands at The Montage.  The highest sale being $930,000 for a 3-bedroom penthouse apartment, and the lowest being $120,000 for a lower-floor studio.

If you're interested in learning more about what's happening in downtown Reno, give me a call, and we can discuss it over a coffee at Campo! 

If you have a topic you'd like to learn more about in Reno/Tahoe, email me at, and I'll research it for you. (Former journalists, like me, with an unanswered questions are like a retriever with a ball to fetch.)

Posted by Jackie Ginley on
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