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"We're already in here working and getting the mechanical systems up to speed," Siegel said. "We're going to sign up an architect this week to do some renderings on the property so we're moving full speed ahead. We're not buying this and just letting it sit closed."
"We've walked a lot of different properties some we liked some we didn't like," Siegel said. "We're not just going to buy stuff up. We want stuff with potential and the opportunity to better the neighborhood."
Up on the 16th floor, flashlights cut through the pitch black darkness as Siegel started checking out different areas. Furniture and magazines remained in some of the rooms as they have for nearly a decade. It was like the Virginian was frozen in time.
"A casino's probably not going to happen," Siegel said. "I can't really say what we're gonna do yet because we've signed some confidentiality agreements Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Lo Cosmic Sneaker
Outdoor light faintly seeped into the dark lobby of the Virginian, where several casino tables gathered dust.
Siegel is especially excited about the growing energy downtown from areas around The Palladio and growing startup core on First Street to the revitalized Midtown corridor.
"For years, this building was just sitting here every day Converse Red And White
Stephen Siegel of the Siegel Group stands outside the Virginian property on Dec. 19, 2013. The Siegel Group was recently purchased by the Siegel Goup out of Las Vegas.(Photo: Photo by Andy Barron, RGJ)Nearly a decade since the property closed its doors, the Virginian Hotel briefly came to life for a few minutes as its warm lights helped brighten an otherwise cold, dark Wednesday afternoon in downtown Reno.
Siegel continues to look at other Reno properties, as well. Siegel and his group took a detour to check another property out on his way to the Virginian from the airport. In typical Siegel fashion, the redeveloper was mum on what potential deals he was working on, only saying that he was excited about Reno's potential.
and people were driving past it," Siegel said. "It became invisible."
Progress on the Truckee Lane Building, meanwhile, is going well, according to Siegel.
Siegel then doubled down earlier this month by purchasing Converse White Dainty Ox the Virginian Hotel for $2.38 million.
Just two weeks after he officially purchased the property, the redeveloper is itching to get started.
"The seller did a phenomenal job in keeping this place locked up and closed," Siegel said. "He's done a great job protecting the property from copper thieves, vagrants and vandalism."
Outside, people passed by the darkened building's doors without as much as a cursory glance. It's a familiar sight for Siegel, who built his business in Las Vegas by redeveloping troubled properties.
"Look at that, it's been closed nine years and most of the bulbs are still working," said new owner Stephen Siegel. "How awesome is that?"
Things kicked off when he bought the iconic Truckee Lane Building home to Java Jungle, Sierra Tap House and Jungle Vino in October for $2.4 million.
Five years after he bought old Senator Hotel and turned it into one of his Siegel Suites buildings, Siegel re entered downtown with a vengeance this year by orchestrating a couple of big moves.
'Full speed ahead' for downtown's Virginian
Photo by Andy Barron 131219
and I don't want to jinx anything. If we pull off some of the things we're trying to work on, though, I think it's going to be great."
It's the kind of excitement that Siegel hopes to tap into as he formulates the next step in his company's plans for the Biggest Little City.
"Truckee Lane is going well," Siegel said. "We're in the design and concept phase and will hopefully have plans finalized in the next 30 to 45 days. Then we'll start construction and hopefully be done by the middle or end of (2014)."
On a nearby counter lay a thick binder with the building's original floor plans.
All that energy adds to downtown's momentum, said Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger. Clinger was walking outside of City Hall when he noticed the lights on the Virginian's facade turning on next door.
During a previous tour, Siegel said he planned to remodel the property for retail, office and residential use, including enlarging the windows facing the river, upgrading the interior with more luxurious touches and reworking the facade. Those plans should be crystallizing soon.
As a result, Siegel looks at the Virginian as a much cleaner canvas for implementing his vision. What exactly that vision will be remains to be seen as Siegel still needs to finalize his plans for the mixed use property.
The CEO of Las Vegas based redeveloper Siegel Group isn't the only one who thinks reviving the Virginian is great news. Upon seeing the Virginian's facade light up, cars honked and passersby waved their hands as they moved past the property.
can actually see magazines from 2004 that were just left there by the people who were reading them," Siegel said. The building's condition is one reason the property was an easier sell for Siegel than the King's Inn. Compared to some of the troubled properties he has bought in the past, Siegel quipped that the Virginian looks like the Bellagio.
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