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Business: Another plant shop? Space Cadet is more than meets the eye



By Nora Heston Tarte

The business model behind Space Cadet isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. A lot of people visit the Wells Avenue shop to stock up on houseplants and accessories, including potting soil and pots. The real mission behind the brand, however, isn’t simply to fuel your plant parent dreams. It’s actually one rooted in sustainability.

Andrew Frank started work on Space Cadet in March 2020, one week before the world shut down. 

“I always joke around that because we opened a business at the worst possible time, there was nowhere to go but up,” Frank said. “Thankfully, we’ve experienced steady growth since our opening in June 2020.”

The core values of the business rest in finding sustainable alternatives and championing local entrepreneurs with the same goals. Ultimately, it’s two-fold: there is a retail storefront and creative space on Wells Avenue and an art-centric business that uses upcycled branded retail displays to create custom build outs for small businesses. 

Space Cadet has upcycled over 250,000 lbs. of obsolete retail displays, according to Frank.

For Frank, the idea truly bloomed out of his desire to do better for the planet. A personal goal of eliminating single-use coffee cups quickly led to a more earth-conscious lifestyle. 

“I started looking for something else I could do to be better,” he said.

At Space Cadet, the goal isn’t to hoard secrets for their own success. When a smart, earth-friendly alternative presents itself—the staff at Space Cadet is the first to share it. “Our operational goal is to test sustainable practices, which we then pass on to other retailers to help them mitigate waste,” Frank said.

The group does, of course, practice what they preach. Along with his partner in business and life, Greta Hanger, Frank built the original retail space using only upcycled materials. 

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“Downtown Damonte” development announced

The Damonte Ranch area kicked off a Fourth of July celebration last night with the announcement of Downtown Damonte, a 73-acre, mixed-use development within Damonte Ranch.

Downtown Damonte will be a walkable area featuring dining, housing, office, retail, medical, recreational and commercial opportunities. It is expected to open in late ‘24 or early ‘25. 

Developers said the area will feature: 

  • 244,000+ square feet of retail, shopping, dining and bars
  • 150,000+ square feet of office space
  • 180+ hotel rooms
  • Up to 900 residential units
  • Biking and pedestrian paths with a walkability and bike rating of 62
  • Seasonal programming and special events

“We have definitely saved the best for last,” said Perry Di Loreto, president of the Di Loreto Companies and Damonte Ranch developer.

Downtown Damonte is located at Damonte Ranch and Steamboat parkways east of Interstate 580/U.S. 395 south in Reno.


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Business news briefs

Dickson Commercial Group announces healthcare services division. DCG Medical Group is a Nevada-based, eight-person team led by Jamie Krahne. Krahne is a healthcare real estate specialist overseeing leasing, marketing, property management and construction management for more than one million square feet of medical office space in Nevada. She also acts as a tenant representative working on behalf of both private physician groups and various hospital systems as a real estate advisor. “I am thrilled at the opportunity for my team and I to join Dickson Commercial Group as our home to continue servicing our healthcare clients and medical office community,” she said. 

Food Bank of Northern Nevada announces new board officers. The elected board chair is Letitia Anderson, MD, of the Northern Nevada Medical Center, vice chair is Dusty Casey of the Oasis Academy, treasurer is Heidi Foster of American Wealth Management and secretary is Nancy Wong. Three new members also have joined the board as of July 1.

Danna Bennett

Guinn Center announces Dana Bennett as interim executive director. The Guinn Center, a nonpartisan research and policy center, which joined the University of Nevada, Reno in July 2021, recently announced that it has named Dana Bennett as its interim executive director. Bennett succeeds Dale Erquiaga, who was recently named acting chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education by the Nevada Board of Regents. “Dr. Bennett has the academic and policy background we need to lead the Guinn Center as it grows and expands its reach through the affiliation with the University of Nevada, Reno,” Provost Jeff Thompson said.

Edgewood announces new board chair. Edgewood Companies, which owns and operates Edgewood Tahoe, announced last week the appointment of Robert Winkel, board member since 2008, as new board chair. Winkel succeeds Steve Johnson, who will continue to be director of Edgewood Companies and an active board member after serving as chairman for the past 14 years.

Colliers expands multifamily team in Reno. Colliers Reno has grown the Hillebrand Multifamily team with the addition of senior associate Tammy Hamilton. Hamilton joins Colliers with 15 years of experience in residential and commercial sales in both Nevada and Arizona. “Having devoted 15 years into various segments of the real estate industry, I am excited to leverage my knowledge base with the transition into the Reno multifamily market,” she said.  

Atlantis honored by Wine Spectator for wine lists. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa announced its Atlantis Steakhouse and Bistro Napa have again received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, extending the two restaurants’ longest active win streaks in northern Nevada. Atlantis Steakhouse has earned the Award of Excellence for 22 straight years while Bistro Napa has won it 21 years in a row. The award is given to restaurants that offer thoughtfully chosen wine lists.

UNR names Erick Jones dean of the College of Engineering. Erick Jones, senior science advisor in the Office of the Chief Economist at the U.S. State Department and former professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, has been named dean of the College of Engineering. “In Dr. Erick Jones, our University has a dynamic leader who understands how to seize moments of opportunity in order to further an agenda of excellence,” President Brian Sandoval said. 

Kurt Thigpen

AAF elects Kurt Thigpen of Ace Studios as governor of AAF district 14. District 14 of the American Advertising Federation last week announced that Kurt Thigpen, CEO of Reno-based Ace Studios, will serve as the governor of AAF District 14 for the 2022-2023 term. Annie Switzer of Reno print company Dynagraphics will serve along-side Thigpen as the Lt. Governor. “I am excited about working with our local club leaders here in northern Nevada and northern California to help increase membership engagement, foster community growth, opportunities for students and help recognize professional excellence within our region,” Thigpen said.

Robert Kilroy named chief of staff and special counsel to Nevada Board of Regents. The Board of Regents on Thursday approved the appointment effective Aug. 8, 2022. Kilroy most recently was Senior Deputy General Counsel for the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners, serving as the organization’s lead litigating attorney since 2015. “Mr. Kilroy brings a wealth of expertise working with boards and a broad range of legal experience in the public and private sectors,” said Regents Chair Cathy McAdoo. “Mr. Kilroy’s work experience is exemplary, and we feel confident that he is the right person for the job.” 

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