A request for proposals was recently issued by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) to sell a portion of its Main Station research farm on McCarran Boulevard at Mill Street.
An email sent to the chancellor and Nevada Board of Regents indicated that UNR intends to sell 144 acres — a strip along McCarran and 40 acres on the south end of the property.
UNR faced significant community outrage from 2011 through 2013 when it had the zoning for the parcels changed to include commercial development. The Reno City Council at the time said it did not have the legal authority to prevent UNR from rezoning and selling the property.
The Great Basin Food Co-op, numerous agricultural producers, and agricultural groups opposed the rezoning.
In 2013, UNR said it would be about 7 years before the property was sold.
Here’s the email that was sent to regents last week:
Over the past several years, the University has identified parcels at the perimeter of our Main Station Farm land to sell.
We are currently undertaking public solicitation options to sell these properties which consist of a 104-acre parcel that borders McCarran Road and a 40-acre parcel at the southern end of the property.
We have a priority for achievement of our Carnegie Research University (R-1) goal, therefore we are planning to liquidate these assets to provide funds to renovate critical research lab spaces and other related facilities to be more competitive for research grants, and to implement the designs resulting from the distribution from the operating fund in January.
Since 2014, the University has self-funded many renovation projects by liquidating some assets for higher value goals. The sale of these parcels is approximately 16% of the Main Station Farm total acreage. We are not discontinuing agriculture research, nor closing or compromising the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources.
We did however want to alert you in the event there are media inquiries or constituent questions. Consistent with Board policy, any sale that results from this process will be contingent on Board review and approval at a future Regents meeting.