Inside the Woolworths Building

by Mike Van Houten / Feb 2, 2013

Could It Be Next for Redevelopment?

- The Woolworths building downtown, located at 101 North Virginia Street, is one of 'those' buildings which has remained virtually unchanged since my initial move to Reno. I never had the luxury of seeing it open and functioning as Woolworths, but I hear from locals lots of memories of hitting up the restaurant inside Woolworths as a favorite pastime.

Rumors are afloat on the internet that at least two developers are taking a close look at the for office use, and another who is interested in converting the property to urban apartments with views of the river and downtown.

Lower Level!


The view.

When you combine this with the rumor that the Nevadan Tower will soon be gifted to UNR to become their business development center and additional under-grad housing, it raises the possibility that finally, after over a decade of being the most under-utilized block of downtown, there could be significant developments that change this block considerably.

Provided the residents don't require parking, or maybe a deal could be struck with Cal Neva or the City, who both have nearby parking garages, I think apartments could be a viable project for the building. The problem with it being a commercial space is its size. Most new retail going downtown and in midtown, with the exception of Campo, are selecting smaller bite-size spaces that are more affordable and manageable. But if a Best Buy wanted to come to downtown, or a Frye's, and occupy the Woolworths building, you wouldn't hear any complaints from me!

Post your comments
  • February 2, 2013 - 12:37:38 PM

    A failing Big Box Electronics Store as the anchor tenant in a Downtown project? Who do you think you are, Fernando Leal? :) Now if you could somehow convince Trader Joe's to move into the space ...

  • February 4, 2013 - 8:06:15 AM

    One more vote for a Trader Joes!

  • February 4, 2013 - 9:27:18 AM

    What we need is a Fresh and Easy Market downtown.Check it out Las Vegas has one.

  • February 4, 2013 - 9:38:28 AM

    I had my first Fresh & Easy experience recently to mixed results. I went in hoping for the equivalent of a Trader Joe's and ended up walking out with nothing. The main problem was there were no decent pre-packaged food options, which I think would work well with the Downtown & University crowd. As for what Fresh & Easy did carry, it's mostly the same sort of stuff you'd find at any grocery store in the general Reno area. A Trader Joe's would be more of a destination for people not wanting to deal with the Meadowood / McCarran area. I'm thinking University, Downtown, Midtown, etc...

  • February 4, 2013 - 12:05:01 PM

    According to recent business press, Tesco (UK -based mega chain and owner of Fresh & Easy) may exit the US and the Fresh & Easy brand. TJ's would be an excellent fit for what was going to be Long's...

  • February 4, 2013 - 4:54:33 PM

    Another vote for Trader Joes

  • February 4, 2013 - 5:12:12 PM

    The Trader Joe's in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, is pretty impressive in that it occupies an old bank with high ceilings and lots of natural light. What about TJ's as an anchor tenant in the DeLongchamps post office? There's on-property parking, metered street parking, it's a short walk to the CalNeva parking garages, and it's on the bus line. Oh, and just to bring it full circle, who owns the new building? Mr. TJ Day. Let's do this.