Regents to Hear UNR’s Request to Transfer Ownership of Historic Homes

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UNR's historic homes will be discussed at tomorrow's City Council meeting.
The future of historic homes is in question.

University of Nevada, Reno administrators are asking the Nevada Board of Regents this month for approval to relinquish historic properties near campus along North Center, North Lake, and East Eighth streets to allow for expansion.

The Regent’s Business, Finance & Facilities Committee is scheduled to hear the request during its meeting at 9 a.m. Nov. 30 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A video conference connection that allows for public comment will be available at the Reno System Administration Building, 2601 Enterprise Road.

UNR has been acquiring property south of campus as part of its master plan, which was created through planning efforts with the City of Reno and Regional Transportation Commission. Master plans are long-term visions that guide decisions about future growth.

“Given the university’s proximity to downtown, all of the parties wish to extend the university’s presence south of I-80 to downtown Reno,” states a briefing paper from UNR to Regents. “The goal of the city of Reno and the university is to create a vital urban district with a mix of academic, retail, commercial, residential, research and innovation and boucle uses that will contribute to the rebirth of downtown Reno.”

A rendering of a proposed new School of Business building in the university's Gateway District.
A rendering of a proposed new School of Business building in the university’s Gateway District.

University officials have said they’re opposed to demolishing the buildings but would like them relocated. UNR’s appraiser indicated a typical investor buying the property would deduct moving costs from the purchase price.

Eight of the properties are residential, two are vacant, and two are used as offices. Leases expire on or before June 2018.

If homes stay in their current location, UNR alleges it would impede growth and require a revision to the campus master plan. Also, maintaining the homes as short-term rentals has become costly.

Some have opposed the relocation of the buildings, saying that distributing them throughout the region will cause part of history to be lost.

“There is no recipient or future location indicated,” Save Reno’s Historic University Avenue posted on its Facebook page. “We believe that if the Regents approve this action ,they should also mandate a transparent community-wide discussion of precisely where the houses would go and how to ensure their future preservation.”

On The Web:

UNR master plan: https://www.unr.edu/Documents/provost/provosts-office/forms/UNR-CMPU-2014-Final-SCREEN%20UPDATED.pdf

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CORRECTION: The original title indicated UNR is trying to sell the homes. UNR actually wants to relinquish ownership of the homes.

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Carla O'Day
About Carla O'Day 280 Articles

Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.

1 Comment

  1. I know of no historic event that happened at any of those old houses. They are not particularly interesting from an architectural perspective, since one sees the same designs all across the country. If ever there was a town that should be racing away from its past, headlong into the future, it is Reno. Just plow those old wrecks under and expand the University southward.

    If anyone knows of any genuine historic or architectural value to keeping any of the houses, I would certainly be open to any new information, but as it stands now, those houses are not really worth keeping around.

    A larger University footprint near downtown will mean fewer bums and a more attractive environment for tourists to visit Reno casinos and other attractions.

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