Regents Grant UNR Pre-Approval to Relinquish Historic Homes

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The Mary Sherman House on Center Street
Image: RenoHistorial.org / State Historic Preservation Office.

University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) got pre-approval from the Nevada Board of Regents this week to sell historic properties near campus along North Center, North Lake, and East Eighth streets to allow for campus expansion.

The Regent’s Business, Finance & Facilities Committee gave UNR the go-ahead during its meeting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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.

University officials have said they’re opposed to demolishing the buildings constructed as early as the 1890s 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.

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

“This will save UNR the future cost of relocating and/or demolition cost while maintaining the opportunity to reutilize these structures elsewhere in the Reno area and preserving their historical significance,” a briefing paper from UNR to the Regents said.

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.

Potential sales must be brought back to the chancellor after consultation with the chairperson of the business, finance and facilities committee. Review and approval by the vice chancellor of legal affairs is also required, according to the resolution approved by the Regents’ panel.

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Carla O'Day
About Carla O'Day 285 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.

2 Comments

  1. You wrote, “Some have opposed the relocation of the buildings…” Some, who? What are their financial and political interests in promoting the retention of these old rat-traps and impeding the growth of the University of Nevada? I have met no one who is in favor of keeping those rotting old houses around as opposed to a larger more prestigious, University campus.

    I previously asked if anything of historic significance ever happened in those derelict buildings. Nobody responded with anything, much less anything of historic importance. I will gladly reconsider if something of note ever happened there.

    Student, Alumni and community groups should raise money to buy those old rat-traps and then bulldoze them into the ground. The sooner our University can grow into a Twenty-first Century, center of research excellence, the better for all of our citizens.

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