Downtown Post Office Could Become Retail Center

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RENO, NV - The Reno Redevelopment Agency will consider facilitating the sale of the historic downtown post office to a private LLC. The LLC plans to convert the building into a high-end retail center.

The downtown post office, located near City Hall, is known for its art deco design. It opened seventy-eight years ago. The building features depictions of eagles, and linear designs. Many locals notice swastica designs on tables inside the building -- the City of Reno says the swasticas were put there before the symbol was known as that of the Nazis.

"At the beginning when the agency first started we said: ' this is really something, this is a jewel to the downtown," Chris Good of the City of Reno said. As part of the sale, the developer would have to maintain the historical nature of the building. Reno-born Fredric Delongchamps, designed the building. Delongchamps also designed the Washoe County Courthouse, among other buildings in the area.

Bernard Carter is part of the LLC hoping to buy the post office for $1.25 million. He said he envisions the building as a shopping destination. "Very high-scale retail shops we don't have in our community today that perhaps when the tourists come to our area it will be a shop they want to visit."

Carter said ten to twelve shops might be located in the building.

The Reno Redevelopment Agency will consider the idea at its meeting Wednesday.

The City of Reno at one time had considered buying the historic post office itself.

Under the proposal, the postal service would move to the "Parking Gallery Building" -- it's located a few blocks away from the downtown post office.