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Reno Gazette Journal | By Jason Hidalgo
Published April 25, 2022 at 7:00 AM PST


Wearing a baseball cap and gripping a sledgehammer with both hands, Chris Ellington channeled his inner Babe Ruth. He wound up his swing and smashed a baseball-sized hole in the wall of his employer’s downtown Reno office.

No, Ellington is not a disgruntled employee. He’s a development manager for ITS Logistics, and he looked quite jubilant as he joined several co-workers in hitting walls, desks and other inanimate targets during a February “sledgehammer party.”

Behind the apparent madness was a purpose. Like many supply chain companies, the pandemic was a boon for ITS Logistics. The company just announced it was doubling office space, kicking off a remodeling project inside the 50 West Liberty building.

Eight miles away in south Reno, International Game Technology has struggled to fill the office portion of its 1.25-million-square-foot campus on Prototype Drive. While IGT has enjoyed success in courting industrial tenants, office tenants are a different story. The property has yet to get a client for its open office spaces since it listed the campus for sublease more than a year ago.

The varying fortunes between both office spaces reflect a dichotomy in the Reno-Sparks office market after COVID-19. At the same time, the area is also bucking trends seen in larger cities across the nation.

As companies adopted work-at-home and hybrid workplace arrangements in the name of employee safety, the pandemic triggered a seismic shift in the foundations of the real estate office market. The impact was brutal in large metropolitan areas such as San Francisco and New York City, where large swaths of office space suddenly went empty.

In the Biggest Little City, however, the impact hasn’t quite followed the same template.

While certain parts of the office market are struggling, others are thriving — a reflection of not just the realities of a world after COVID but Reno’s own economics as well.


Read the original story by Jason Hidalgo on RGJ here.