The face of re-development in Reno is leaving.
Much of what you see sprouting up downtown...is the brainchild of Pete Gillon.
When Pete Gillon came on board in the fall of 2003...there were just a few condos downtown, but *no casino-condo conversions.
As we know, now, they're pretty hard to miss in the Reno skyline.
Pete Gillon "when I look at what our team has accomplished. It's certainly the palladio that's been the single most important project that we got done in the last three years."
Gillon says the Palladio project...paved the way for renovating the Comstock into condos, and a developer buying the former Sundowner, and converting that hotel into condos.
A trend, he says, that will continue through at least 2010.
Pete Gillon "i think with the condos coming in...we anticipate 5000 people living in downtown within the next three years. With a diposable income of 110-thousand dollars. That creates a neighborhood that can support retail."
Retail being a key to downtown redevelopment.
Gillon helped with Long's Drugs taking over the former Riverboat hotel.
And, Cavanaugh's...a specialty store that's doing well.
But, he says there's much more work to be done.
Pete Gillon "we need more restaurants, clothing stores, shoe stores, home furnishing stores. We also need more retail serving the student population."
Gillon wouldn't talk much about it...but he says, a recent downtown retail study, called for a commercial/retail/entertainment complex in the entertainment core...which he says should help a great deal.
His vision, and the vision of city leaders, are clear...make downtown Reno a global destination.
It won't be easy...of course, there are many challenges that lie ahead.
Gillon says the proliferation of Indian gaming, in Northern California, has impacted casino revenues downtown.
He says that will continue to hurt the redevelopment agency's budget...but he hopes these new projects will make the difference.