March 2016 – President’s Letter
Downtown Reno has been a busy and exciting place so far this year and the Regional Alliance for Downtown (RAD) is equally busy keeping track of all the new developments. It is our 2016 goal to continue to ensure that you; our members and partners are staying well informed on a monthly basis about the interesting improvements being made as well as items that may concern those of us that live, work and play Downtown.
In February, a business owner came before the City requesting to lease or buy a portion of the public West Street Plaza. (South side of First Street between West and Arlington). RAD spent over a year speaking to stakeholders and City officials as well as neighbors and those who would be most impacted. We also researched specific business practices of the proposed lessee and determined that the transaction would likely have a negative impact on Downtown. RAD wrote a letter outlining its opposition and voiced our concerns to City Council members. As a result of RAD’s voice and constructive reputation with the community, the Council unanimously opposed approval of the lease until the applicant could resolve its issues.
RAD’s members on the Downtown Special Assessment District Police committee have been looking at Calls for Service at all downtown motels and weekly residences. We have already seen and expect to find that some locations put a disproportional drain on city services and contribute to blight, crime and standard of living downtown. We will continue shining light on these troublesome properties.
In February, Reno lost one of its jewels. Marion Hose died due to complications from a life-long disability. Anyone that knows her knows that she was a strong and intelligent individual and a tremendous part of the Downtowns ongoing revitalization efforts. Marion was a successful businesswoman and mother, and cared more for her friends, community and children than anyone we know. Her impact on the growth and success of Reno is only over-shadowed by her generosity to the community, her friends, and the Arts. Mayor Schieve told members of RAD that a proclamation in Marion’s honor would be made at a March City Council meeting. We will miss our RAD board member and friend, Marion Hose.
Also in February, RAD hosted a presentation by Urban Development expert Cynthia Albright. Cynthia drew a large crowd and generated much interest in how our downtown and other cities have and can design their environments to be attractive, safe, and efficient. This event took place at the basement of the “old” “new” Post Office on Virginia. This was a great opportunity to meet up with neighbors and network with new friends while getting a glimpse at one of the exciting new venues downtown.