Economic Development Mission
Create a more vibrant downtown that is economically diverse, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, dynamic, beautiful and resilient.
Our mission within the economic development departments aligns with the values of our organization by helping to build a downtown that has something for everyone. To focus on the core competencies of our department, we have identified three goal categories:
- Data & Information – Collect it, manage it, analyze it and be a strong resource for it
- Community Organizing – Facilitate meetings, make introductions, be available
- Main Street – Entrepreneurship, business development, downtown promotion, and education
Managing downtown data and information allows us to be a strong resource for our community and stakeholders. It also gives us the ability to learn from the past and make better data-informed decisions. Community organizing enables us to bring stakeholders together to keep the conversation going and facilitate relationships and partnerships to help build a stronger downtown. We are committed to being accessible and available to the downtown community.
Being a Nevada Main Street Affiliate helps to deliver support for entrepreneurship and downtown businesses while leveraging opportunities for ongoing training and education in the areas of Organization, Design, Promotion and Economic Vitality—the Four Pillars of Main Street America. We are in a unique position as Nevada’s only Urban Main district, and our collaboration with rural communities and state partners helps expand our reach beyond the boundaries of downtown.
The Economic Development department has accomplished much in our first year. After hiring Economic Development Manager Nathan Digangi, we hit the ground running by convening the Economic Development Committee, taking inventory of downtown properties, expanding our Reno Urban Main program through Nevada Main Street and starting to track all new developments in our district.
We have built a robust database for tracking stats and information about properties within the Business Improvement District as well as contact information and developments. Working to be data experts will ensure our ability to remain a strong resource while monitoring the pulse of downtown.
We have setup monthly meetings with our regional partners including EDAWN, The City of Reno, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Small Business Development Center and the University. We also participate in bi-weekly calls with other Nevada Main Street communities and state partners.
Our efforts to connect and engage with the local economy include putting together roundtable discussions for different groups and industries that have vested interests in downtown. We organized and facilitated a roundtable for downtown technology and startup companies who want to band together in an innovation district. Future planned roundtables include ones for brokers, developers and investors.
We get notified whenever a parcel within the BID changes hands and have started sending welcome letters to new property owners.
To better assist our downtown businesses, we have formed a strong relationship with the Nevada Small Business Development Center. They provide a wide range of services to businesses at no charge and are an instrumental resource for the local economy.
When you look at our development map, you will notice a lot of activity at the south end of the University.
UNR’s expansion into downtown is a dream twenty years in the making. Reno and the University have been strategically trying to cross the freeway gap and merge economics, education and culture to create a truly great “University Town.” There is serious momentum for those efforts as Canyon Flats student housing is about to be completed and the University Gateway District is about to begin construction.
We conducted a survey of University students and faculty about downtown and received over 1,600 responses. Some of the things we learned show that students want more food options, retail, and non- nightlife activities (especially things for the under 21 crowd).
The outlook for downtown Reno is strong and we feel truly blessed to be able to make an impact and work to create a great urban environment where people love to work, live and play.