Midtown Reno is the birthplace of the Biggest Little City’s renaissance. The city’s transformation began in this hub and has radiated out ever since.
More than a decade ago, pioneering shops and restaurants began to open in midtown. Now, boutiques, restaurants, bars and more fill the streets of this hip area. One of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Midtown Reno offers a variety of locations where you can live, shop, eat, drink and play.
For more insight about living in Midtown Reno, I chatted with my fellow Dickson Realty agents at the Downtown Office, which also covers Midtown. Here’s what Brie Forrester, Crystal Northon, J.P. Menante, and Samantha Reveley had to say.
So, first off, what do we consider Midtown Reno?
Crystal: Walking distance to Virginia Street between the Truckee River and Plumb Lane is what I consider midtown.
JP: I agree. If it’s walkable then, you can still get in the vibe of midtown.
Samantha: Or, if you can bike there! In most cases, you can get on a cruiser bike and be there in 30 seconds.
What do you think makes Midtown Reno so great?
Crystal: So many things! Food, bars, architecture, and art—there are so many murals in Midtown now. The houses are all different. There’s nothing cookie cutter about Midtown.
Brie: The walkability!
Chris: I agree! This is the only neighborhood in Reno where you would not have to have a car.
JP: The convenience! You can leave your house to go to the grocery store and be back at your house within 15 minutes. The airport is so close. In 10 minutes, I had my niece back from my house to the airport and back home.
Samantha: I find that I do so many more Reno things because I’m in Midtown and I can walk there. Every year we walk down to some of Reno’s iconic events such as Hot August Nights or Artown because we can walk from our house.
What differentiates Midtown Reno from downtown to you?
Chris: You know, our office is the “downtown office” and we’re truly in the middle on Holcomb Avenue and Liberty Street. Downtown is more characterized by high-rise buildings and entertainment. Midtown has a neighborhood vibe with brick houses, and cool restaurants and bars and hip boutiques.
JP: Midtown has low-rise, older homes with some newer buildings but generally nothing over two stories.
Samantha: What’s nice is that you can walk to midtown or downtown from most spots in the neighborhood. You have the option of walking to the Pioneer Center and downtown and seeing the events and the concerts, which is nice.
What’s it like to live in Midtown Reno?
Chris: It feels more like a neighborhood than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. People walk around, they wave and talk, and you know your neighbors. People are happy to be there.
Brie: I’ve lived here for eight years, and when I’m walking my dog, I always see a house I’ve never noticed before. There are always changes and things going on, whether it’s someone doing something to their yard or changing things to their house. So, it’s exciting to see that pride in ownership.
What are your favorite things to do in Midtown Reno during the summer?
JP: I’m a father of two young girls, and if we’ve got a few extra hours on an evening in July during Artown, we’ll walk down to Wingfield Park. It’s a really nice stroll, and we get to spend time with the family
Brie: I ride my bike a lot more in the summer.
What kind of food and dining is there in Midtown Reno?
Brie: I get excited when there’s new stores or bars or restaurants coming because they’re for the most part local rather than a chain.
Samantha: I cook, and I love to go to the grocery store, and the Great Basin Community Food Co-op is such an integral part of why it’s so easy to live here. It’s so great in there, and they have so many good things.
Who tends to move to Midtown Reno?
Crystal: If you want the walkability of a bigger city with the friendliness of a small town and the charm of old houses and the hottest restaurants near you, this is where you live.
Samantha: You get single people and first-time homebuyers. You get families. You get retired people. That’s what makes Midtown fun and funky and different.
What is it like to buy a house in Midtown Reno?
Crystal: It can be competitive. If you really want to live in midtown, you really need to be prepared to jump on it. You need an agent who is looking every day for you. You need to be pre-qualified and have all your ducks in a row. That’s where we can help.
Samantha: When a home comes up, you have to see it that day. If you find something you love, you need to jump on it. Each home is one-of-a-kind, and there likely won’t be another one just like it.
What are the homes like in Midtown Reno?
Samantha: On some of the older, original homes, you may need to do some updates—unless the previous owner did. There are also newer homes and a variety of housing options. You can get a tiny little bungalow. You can get a big house. There are apartments. You can get a duplex. There’s such a range.
Chris: There are also many people who fully rehab a house. So, it’s not new construction, but it does have all the modern amenities. The nice thing is this is a neighborhood where you can make a good return on investment by fixing up a house. People will pay for your improvements in this neighborhood.
JP: The midtown area, for the most part, does not have any enforceable CC&R’s recorded and no HOAs. However, if you drive through the whole district, people are really taking pride in ownership there. It’s a very organic thing.
Are there areas where it’s more affordable to buy in Midtown Reno?
Samantha: Wells Avenue is so cool. There are so many cool little shops, there are great restaurants, and it’s also very walkable.
Chris: That’s still the affordable part of the neighborhood. If you’re getting into the market, you can get a house in the $200,000’s in that area still. And, they’re cute little houses.
Brie: Many times people first want a specific sized home or different features. Then they see this neighborhood, and they realize that if they’re going to be in midtown, they need to prioritize other aspects, such as the neighborhood.