History of a Marmot Burrow

One of the many perks of renovating properties in one of Reno’s oldest neighborhoods (and newest conservation district) is bumping into some history along the way. We were fortunate enough to bump into a local with some photos of one of our properties from around Read more

Public transportation & Reno’s future

As Reno moves closer to the ideal of a ‘college town’, our stumbling blocks are starting to become more and more apparent. One of these trip-ups is our fair city’s various neighborhoods and cultural and educational centers–and the fact that they’re separated by residential areas or other, more “interesting” parts of town. If we could link the areas around UNR to the hospitals to Midtown to the rest of Reno’s burrows in such a way as to facilitate easy transport around, we’d be a giant leap closer to our ideal goal.

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Marmot Street Art by Erik T. Burke

As part of our continuing quest to bring up and beautify our neighborhood, we commissioned local artist Eric Burke to get artistic on a few Marmot burrows. Check out the fantastic results…

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Marmot Properties and the Urban Infill Mission

It was 2008, and the housing market had crashed through the floor. The Raydon brothers saw an opportunity to make an impact in Reno through responsible real estate and urban infill. “When the Marmot Companies first started, there was no shortage of vacant, distressed, abandoned, abused homes here in Reno,” says Gary Raydon. “That’s where we started.”

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Reno’s Got Tech Talent

The Reno Technology Park has been a constant source of news since before construction began. It’s being treated as a harbinger of Reno’s bright tech future–and rightly so. With tech giants like NJVC and Apple moving into the park, Northern Nevada is seeing a huge amount of activity in the tech sphere. Steve Rosa, the chief developer in charge of the Reno Technology Park, told the Reno Gazette Journal‘s Jason Hidalgo, “Right now, we’re talking to a number of other data center companies. This Apple project alone represents millions of dollars of investment in the community, as well as a large number of construction jobs.”

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RENOvation. It’s what we do.

Once upon a few months ago, it was known as the “Cat Pee House” for reasons we don’t need to go into. Today, it’s stands as a testament to the RENOvative power of the Marmots. Here are a few shots from the before and after to give you an idea of the transformation this awesome house went through. Photos thanks to Rick Chapman, who did a photo essay on the before (available here), and thanks to Albert Lewis (check out his other work here) and REreno for the after shots.

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Marmot MidTown: Shots from the big before

A big thanks to Rick Chapman for these great shots from Marmot’s big MidTown project! Click here or on the photo below to see more.

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Marmot Companies Bring Big-City Urban Renewal Trend to Reno

We Marmots just love making news.

RENO, Nev., Aug 08, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — In the midst of a challenging real estate market, three brothers – each with their own individualized skill set – formed Marmot Companies with an urban renewal mission. With dozens of drastically overhauled properties already under their belts, the group just purchased a multi-million dollar residential property assemblage in Midtown Reno. This urban area is burgeoning with cottage industry businesses, new restaurants and bars, and a large commercial project – all within walking distance of Apple’s recently announced Downtown Reno business center.

Read the rest of this great press release here.

From NNBW–Marmot Companies acquires 17 buildings in Midtown Reno

We made the news! Big thanks to John Seelmeyer and Northern Nevada Business Weekly for the great article! Check it out below or on their site.

A Reno company doubled down on its big bet on the continued residential renaissance of Midtown.

In a $2 million, all-cash transaction, Marmot Companies acquired a 17-building package of 31 housing units just south of the new Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum.

The company now is investing another $1 million in renovation of the homes that it dubbed “The Assemblage,” says Eric Raydon, one of three brothers who launched Marmot Companies.

“It will be a long-term project, sort of a rolling rehab,” Raydon says.

The company’s newest acquisitions all are in an L-shaped area straddling Sinclair Street between Stewart and Moran streets.The eastern boundary of The Assemblage is directly across Holcomb from the offices of Marmot Companies.

The properties include 12 single-family homes, two duplexes, a tri-plex, a four-plex and an eight-unit apartment building.

Raydon said the properties were acquired by two investor funds operated by Marmot Companies. County and state records show the real estate was sold by AMR Properties Ltd., which is owned by Reno’s Alonso family.

With the newest acquisition, Marmot Companies now owns more than 60 housing units in the downtown area, primarily in the West of Wells and Old Southwest neighborhoods close to Midtown.

Along with Eric Raydon, Marmot is owned by Bryan and Gary Raydon.

The company buys 50 to 100-year-old homes — many of them bargain-priced because are in very poor condition — for renovation into white-picket-fence rentals for professionals and young families interested in living close to jobs in downtown, nearby medical facilities or the University of Nevada, Reno.

“We want to rehab these neighborhoods to the point that we’ll want our daughters to live here,” says Eric Raydon.

He says the company’s portfolio of homes and apartments is essentially fully leased, and the company is fielding inquiries from current tenants who want to move into some of the larger spaces that will be available in The Assemblage properties. The company handles its own management.

“We think we have reached the tipping point in Midtown,” he says.

Crime rates in the West of Wells neighborhood have fallen dramatically in two years, and Raydon credits the focused work of an association of neighborhood residents.

While trendy retail, restaurants and bars have opened along South Virginia Street in the Midtown corridor, Raydon says retailers to meet day-to-day shopping needs such as a grocer and a drug store would help solidify the neighborhood.

From the public sector, he says improvements to facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists would help spur redevelopment of the neighborhood. Developers and renovation companies also have a stake in the improvement of the neighborhood’s public schools as they seek to attract young families, Raydon says.

Biggest Little Cityscape: Reno’s tech future evolves

Evolving beyond old stereotypes about loose slots, quick divorces, and rampant debauchery, Reno is aiming its sights on a more sustainable economic future, attracting a different kind of visitor.  The city is currently courting Apple, Inc. with high-reward tax breaks in hopes of adding the technology giant, along with other high rolling tech companies, as prospective tenants to the Biggest Little Cityscape.

According to a New York Times article published in the paper yesterday, “Apple will open an office downtown in a new building that may house other technology companies the city is wooing.”

Although there has been debate on the legitimacy of purportedly large tax breaks used to reel in the tech supernova, the Times quoted Reno city manager Andrew Clinger as saying that this is a first step in what is hoped to be a long line of potential corporate residents.

“Attracting an international icon to Reno puts us on the map,” said Clinger. Mr. Clinger also noted “that the new building would also help change downtown’s landscape by replacing ‘seedy motels’ that are there now.”

Along with ourselves and other local redevelopment groups, Dacole LLC couldn’t agree more.  Cofounder and president of Reno investment firm Dacole LLC, potential City Council Ward 1 candidate, and Friend of Marmot Bernie Carter is helping recreate what the downtown and newly evolving Midtown areas are all about.

“We’re attracting young professionals who want a vibrant downtown,” Carter said to the Reno News and Review in May, “no national chains, not even a Starbucks. We’re going to have small entrepreneurs to try and establish that sense of community that we think is so critical for attracting young professionals to our area.”

Apple might be just what this area needs to speed along such an evolution.

The Reno City Council Meeting on June 27, 2012 approved an agreement with Northern Nevada Urban Development & Management Company, LLC (NNUDMC) for the Tessera Tourism Improvement District.  This agreement would provide a tax incentive for hooking certain occupants, namely Apple, Inc., with future hopes of bringing in other attractive “tenants, people, businesses, and economic activity to the District.”

And these are no small apples.  According to the Reno City Council, Apple, Inc. will hire around 40 employees and up to 200 independent contractors, including people needed for the construction phase of their new office center, potentially impacting the community at large with positive economic run-off.

“Reno has been working to diversify its economic base,” Mayor Cashell said at the June 27th meeting. “This is a project in which we can all work together for the good of the whole. Apple will create jobs and brings millions of dollars to our community which will help everyone.”

Of course, Apple has more to gain than do-good job creation and a great office window view of the Sierras.  According to the Reno Gazette Journal, Apple can stand to gain a series of tax cuts amounting to $89 million over the next ten years, much of which will come from the local government, reducing the tech giant’s tax burden by nearly 80 percent.

But for many, the favorable outcome of an in surge of high-impact economic growth for the Reno area is well worth the exchange.

Rich Miller, editor of Data Center Knowledge, a New Jersey-based publication that tracks this industry, was positively quoted in the RGJ with his thoughts on what a Reno landscape might look like, post-Apple. “I think the hope is a data center project will mark a region as a favorable area for high technology development,” Miller said. “A big project for Apple or Google or Microsoft will lead to other projects following, so you get a cluster of data centers forming.”

Like attracts like, or at least that’s the hope.  With big players like Apple redefining what coming to the table in Reno looks like, it may be only a short time before our city becomes a popular destination for high-impact companies to bring much needed economic-drought relief.  And with it, new soil for community developers like us Marmots to continue replanting and beautifying our city center.   Your future’s looking great, Reno. Keep up the good work.