Downtown Reno revitalization underway

RENO, Nev (KOLO) -- Cleaning up and revitalizing downtown Reno is a top priority for the city council. Apple's big announcement last week that it plans to buy property and build in the area is giving more hope to business owners there.

Driving on 4th street in Reno it's hard not to notice the orange construction cones. It's even harder to control expectations.

"It's happening. It's baby steps, but it's still happening," said Ryan Harris, bar manager at The Depot.

Businesses in downtown Reno have had a front row seat to all the changes that have taken place. One of those businesses is Morris Burner Hotel. Jim Gibson, who goes by the name of “Jungle Jim,” has owned the business four years.

"It has gotten considerably better and more comfortable. It's safer and people can walk down the street. I think it's good. It is a good thing for Reno," said Gibson.

Many companies are noticing as well. Last week the Reno City Council approved Apple's plans to build a $4 million warehouse in downtown Reno at Evans Avenue and Fifth Street.

"Big companies are coming here and it was part of the momentum in saying Reno is really ready," said Hillary Schieve, Reno Mayor.

Many new businesses have opened in downtown. Mayor Schieve believes there is even more in store.

"I keep saying that in three years, you won't recognize downtown Reno and that really is going to speak to that," said Mayor Schieve.

The folks at the Depot and Morris Burner Hotel are happy about Apple's move. They believe it will attract more people and businesses to downtown.

"I'm excited and I'm looking forward to 4th Street becoming a nicer part of town," said Gibson.

"We want this place to be exciting. People to have fun and come during the day and hangout at the patio during the summer," said Harris.