Virginia Street Antique Mall Closes Today
The lease for the Virginia Street Antique Mall expires on May 31, and it is closing down tonight.
The Virginia Street Antique Mall is closing down. The mall has been around for 29 years, including the past 26 years at its current location. The owner of the business says the move is not by choice.
"Every five years, we've always had the option to renew and this newest owner wants nothing of it," Lisa Youell Jeanney, Owner of the Virginia Street Antique Mall said. "It's disappointing for everyone but we have got a good team and we'll surface on the other side."
Youell Jeanney says she is negotiating to find a new building to move into. She does not know when or where that will be.
"We would like to stay close by," Youell Jeanney said. "Yeah, that makes sense, or anywhere on Virginia Street but it's a long street so you never know what will come up."
In the meantime, about 70 antique vendors who work there are moving their merchandise into storage or offering discounts before they close. The move affects some vendors more than others.
"A lot of them, this is their sole source of income," Youell Jeanney said. "Some of them have retirement on top of this but it is something that they all enjoy doing and they do it very well."
Mike Holland has sold antiques at the mall since it opened. He says it is hard to think about moving out of the 18,000 square-foot building in Midtown.
"I like to keep busy and it's just a great way to not only make a few extra dollars but also visit with people," Holland said. "There's a lot of camaraderie in this business. I just hope the whole mall concept can continue to go, too, because it's a good way for older people to supplement their income also."
Customers can buy a wide range of merchandise from jewelry and collectibles to furniture and guns.
"They come here looking for something and then find stuff they never thought they would find. It's so unusual and unique, one of a kind," Youell Jeanney said.
Matt Eisenbarth has shopped at the Virginia Street Antique Mall for years. He says he likes finding items that are unique to the history of Reno and Nevada.
"A lot of us like to come in here and look for local memorabilia and a lot of good stuff and it's sad to see another one of our good establishments going goodbye," Eisenbarth said.
Vendors say they've heard rumors of what might replace the antique mall but the property owner has not confirmed any of them. The lease ends on May 31, so closing tonight will give the vendors a couple of weeks to move out.
"It's a great mall and it's sad that it's going and I'm very curious to see what they're going to do here and with the building, the property," Holland said. "It's a big piece of property."
Midtown has been transforming for the last several years, with more businesses and residents moving in. Some say the antique mall could be victim of the area's progress.
"Unfortunately, space is getting tight around town," Eisenbarth said. "Especially here in the midtown area. So I think they'll find some sort of place to sit down and put their wears on. It's good stuff."
The transition is proving to be difficult for some vendors. They say thieves have stolen thousands of dollars in merchandise during the move. Holland says they took two items from him, totaling $1,000.
"In the confusion and things, it's difficult to keep an eye on all the doors and everything," Holland said.
Vendors hope that happens sooner than later. They want to reopen in a building that is similar to the one they are moving out of. The mall will stay open later than usual on its last day, giving vendors a chance to clear their inventory before they move.