On the last day of August, 2012, the sale of Reno's downtown post office building was a done deal. The new owner is Reno developer Bernie Carter, three partners, and his company, 50 S. Virginia LLC. The price - $1.25 million - was considerably lower than the post office wanted when selling the building became a possibility several years ago.
Art deco detail at the post office building in downtown Reno, Nevada.
Photo © Stan White
50 S. Virginia LLC also bought the responsiblity for around $4.9 million in repairs and renovations that will turn the building into a retail center. According to the agreement, the group will have 24 months from the time the U.S. Postal Service vacates the building to present their plan to the Reno Redevelopment Agency. The final deal was delayed until the involved parties came to a compromise over who will bear responsibility for any environmental issues. The agreement includes provisions ensuring that the City of Reno is protected from any such risks.
The Postal Service will relocate to the Parking Gallery at 135 North Sierra Street, a facility owned by the City of Reno. Exactly when the post office will open in it's new location hasn't been announced. Until the move happens, postal services will remain available in the present location.
Reno's art deco post office opened in 1934 and is one of the best examples of this type of architecture in Nevada. It was designed by Frederic Delongchamps, Reno's most prominent architect at the time. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Because of this, the building's historic character must be preserved and any changes will require approval from the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office, the Reno City Council, and the Reno Redevelopment Agency.
Sources: City of Reno, Reno Gazette-Journal.
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