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Reno - Downtown Blueprint and Riverfront Design Guidance

Client: City of Reno

The Downtown Blueprint charted the course to diversify Downtown’s tourist economy by adding a wide variety of cultural and entertainment offerings to complement and bolster the gaming industry, and to substantially enhance the appeal of Downtown to prospective and existing residents of the city and region. The centerpiece of the Blueprint is the complete transformation of the historic Downtown Riverfront from back side of development facing away from the river, to central gathering spine and linchpin between visitor-oriented and resident-oriented districts.

The Envisioned Future Downtown Riverfront – The New Center of Development Reno (completed).


Aerial photo of downtown Reno at the outset of the project.

  • Crucial gaming and entertainment uses were bleeding out of the downtown core.
  • Underutilized parcels made the downtown area less attractive for important entertainment uses.
  • There weren't many non-gaming related attractions for families and visitors less interested in gaming.
  • The city’s development focus for the riverfront properties was unclear.


  • Analyze the market conditions affecting downtown development.
  • Provide a blueprint for future development to revitalize downtown and focus its assets.
  • Advise city staff and elected officials about best uses and design needs.
  • Develop development standards and design guidance for new investment in riverfront properties.



  • Over time, the Downtown Riverfront has completely transformed as envisioned.
  • Hundreds of new residential units have been constructed.
  • Downtown cultural, entertainment and retail offerings have been substantially diversified.

In collaboration with:

Michael Reardon - rendering