By Maddison Cervantes
Across from the University of Nevada, Reno’s Manzanita Lake, a red brick house is in the process of becoming a home to a variety of local eateries.
On the corner of 10th and Virginia streets, the house will become home to another location for Hub Coffee Roasters, a second location for SÜP, a juice bar, a bicycle shop and possibly other tenants.
The project, named Urban@University, will be constructed by Core Construction, and developed by Urban Real Estate Investments.
Local blogger Mike Van Houten interviewed Paddy Egan, a broker at Urban Real Estate, for an article discussing the project.
“We are trying to create a more diversified and authentic ‘university experience’ than currently exists for students, university professors and professionals in the area,” Egan said. “[The structure] will allow people to enjoy a great sandwich, coffee, smoothie [or] juice and other services in a creative and fun environment, without necessarily being in the student union on campus.”
SÜP owner Kasey Christensen discussed the restaurant’s enthusiasm for the project. She stated that SÜP is in the process of signing the lease, so they are new to the project.
“We want it to be a more student-based place,” Christensen said. “There is a huge population up there that we feel like is underserved as far as what [students] have available to them within a walking distance.”
Regarding the renovation, Christensen explained that SÜP will add a beer and wine bar on the second story of the house, which is not included in the current restaurant, provide free Wi-Fi and have later hours than the original location. While their MidTown location is currently open until 9 p.m., Christensen said the new restaurant will remain open until 10 or 11 p.m.
Christensen also stated that with The Hub located behind them and a juice bar next door, the setup of the project will have a courtyard feel to it; a place where students can attend to their own cravings and meet in the middle to enjoy their food and drinks together.
“We get a lot of students coming [to SÜP], which is great, but we want to give [students] a place to hang out that is close by campus,” Christensen said. “There are a lot of people who live right in that area who maybe don’t have a car, and sometimes getting to MidTown is more difficult.”
Students are getting anxious for the structure to be nearby and open for business. When sophomore Zachary Taylor learned of the project, he became full of anticipation.
“I did not know about [the project] until recently, but I will enjoy having SÜP around campus since it is further away, and it is nice knowing that more local places are opening up for college students,” Taylor said.
Along with Taylor, other students such as sophomore Fara Chaerani are eager to explore the mixed-use project and try out a new menu close to campus.
“I think it’s a great idea; we definitely need more food places on campus,” Chaerani stated. “It would be good if more restaurants were added, though, to add an even bigger variety.”
UNR’s Campus Master Plan 2015-2024 sheds light on many of the possibilities for the university. In the Strategic Interventions section of the plan, it is stated that as the university remodels and adds to current buildings, the surrounding areas of the campus should progress and increase as well.
The plan highlights several tactical ideas that will help improve the campus and its relationship to the community. Bullet points within the Strategic Interventions section describe several goals for the university’s development. These points include furthering the expansion of a mixed-use university town neighboring the campus, and to recreate a connection to Downtown Reno through design and development.
As Christensen said, the current mixed-use project, including common restaurants and a student-friendly environment, is a preliminary effort to connect the campus with other aspects of the community.
“We wanted to be right there in the heart of all of it,” Christensen said. “We love the students, we’re excited to be by UNR while it’s growing and we want to be a part of it.”
Depending on how quickly construction is complete, Virginia Street will be hosting an array of food choices near the end of summer or the beginning of fall 2015.
Maddison Cervantes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madcervantes.