Groundbreaking at Skypointe, at the corners of McCarran Boulevard and South Virginia Street, scheduled for this summer.

The Skypointe project comprises three different buildings: a six-storey, 171,500 square foot office building; a six-level parking garage with 840 spaces; and 37,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The restart of Greater Reno-Sparks’ most high-profile development project is underway, with groundbreaking at Skypointe at the corners of McCarran Boulevard and South Virginia Street slated to begin this summer.

Like other notable construction projects, development at Skypointe has been slowed by COVID-19, said Todd McKenzie, president of McKenzie Properties Management, Inc. The ball was nearly through the end zone in March 2020, with many large tenants lined up, but they disappeared when business closed and McKenzie instead chose to launch and regroup.

“We’re restarting everything,” McKenzie told NNBW in an interview last week.
McKenzie said he already had financial partners for the project and was in the final stages of financing construction with a local lender. It has also received a few letters of intent from interested tenants and is working on signing leases. The plans, meanwhile, go through the city’s approval process. The developer hopes for a start in mid-July.

“We are confident that we will innovate,” McKenzie said.

Todd McKenzie

McCarran and Southern Virginia is one of the busiest corners in all of Reno-Sparks. In 2020, more than 23,200 cars passed per day on McCarran, while more than 21,400 passed on South Virginia Street, the Nevada Department of Transportation reported.

“This is the #1 best retail and office location in Reno,” McKenzie said. “It’s Main et Main. For retailers, it’s the best place to be, and it’s the same for the office. This corner is the link to the whole city.

The Skypointe project consists of three buildings.

• A six-storey, 171,500 square foot office building

• A six-level car park with 840 spaces

• 37,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space

Despite its prominent location, the site remained undeveloped for decades. McKenzie acquired the parcel and adjacent Corporate Point office building in February 2019.

Courtesy of McKenzie Property Management Inc.
The Skypointe project comprises three different buildings: a six-storey, 171,500 square foot office building; a six-level parking garage with 840 spaces; and 37,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Prior to McKenzie’s development of a modest three-story office building at the south end of Kietzke Lane, there hadn’t been a speculative new three-story office building built in Truckee Meadows for decades, a he declared. The six-story building will be the first spec office project built in Truckee Meadows since 1987.

Adding so much Class A office space to the regional inventory will likely attract some businesses that had previously driven through Northern Nevada due to its lack of available office space, McKenzie added.

“There hasn’t been room for businesses looking to expand or relocate to Reno,” he said. “We don’t even get looks (from potential companies) because we don’t have the product. And now it’s to the point where the companies that are here want to grow but they have nowhere to go. The office shortage is hurting us.

“Office tenants will benefit from an urban campus with restaurants, cafes and retail outlets, he added. “Given that there is no supply and there is no Class A space available, we are seeing rents continue to rise.”

The CBRE office team of Matt Grimes and David Woods will handle office rental.

New retail
Skypointe’s retail component will likely be a bit more corporate than local, McKenzie said. The strategy is to meet demand from corporate retailers who have been unable to find desirable locations in the region, he added.

“If you’re looking to come to Reno, where are you going? There are no nice new spaces in good locations, and there are so many services and goods that we need in this city.

Retail stores such as Rancharrah and South Creek Retail Center at Foothill Road (which McKenzie built and sold) have become go-to destinations for regional consumers. Unique retail redevelopment projects – Reno Experience District, Reno Public Market – are expected to follow suit and be embraced by Reno residents when they open later this year.

This new development project also fits into the same mould.

“Even before growth hit, we needed more services,” McKenzie said. “We need more commercial and office space.”

Roxanne Stevenson, senior vice president of retail services at Colliers, will handle retail leasing.

Construction schedule
Skypointe is expected to take up to 24 months to build, McKenzie said. Ongoing supply chain issues, material shortages and long lead times will extend the standard construction time by around 18 months, he added.

“There are definitely very long delivery times with some items, and we’ll have them ordered on Day 1 to try to mitigate risk,” he said. “Delivery times are long for steel and glass, and processors have a lead time of 67 weeks. Once we sign a contract, we have to order them. Just getting materials here from wherever they come is the biggest challenge.

World-renowned architectural firm Gensler of San Francisco is designing Skypointe and is currently working with contractors to coordinate their design teams, McKenzie said. The developer has hired a regional general contractor to construct the office building and parking garage, while his company will construct the retail building.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to develop this – it’s a dream project that will uplift the whole city,” McKenzie said.

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