The University of Nevada, Reno, is planning on selling 12 houses that border the south end of campus after the Nevada System of Higher Education gave the university permission to on Friday, Dec. 1. The plan for the sale or transfer of these houses will be available after the new year.
The houses are on Lake Street and N. Center Street between Interstate 80 and Ninth Street. Plans to expand the area were announced by the university in 2015. Since then, groups have been trying to preserve some of the historic homes, which were built between 1895 and 1971. One of the houses is on the registry for historic homes for the city and state.
Executive Director of External Relations at UNR, Heidi Gansert, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that groups interested in buying the homes include organizations that work with the homeless, seniors and foster children.
“Our goal is to keep as many together as possible,” Gansert told the RGJ.
Moving the houses to other locations is estimated to be expensive, but the cost would be the responsibility of the buyers of the homes — not the university.
The addresses of the 12 homes planned to be moved are 801 Lake Street, 825 Lake Street, 829 Lake Street, 843 Lake Street, 127 E. 8th Street, 815 N. Center Street, 820 N. Center Street, 821 N. Center Street, 829 N. Center Street, 839 N. Center Street, 847 N. Center Street and 895 N. Center Street.
The university told the RGJ that keeping the houses would impede the university’s growth. According to the UNR masterplan, the land the houses currently sit on will be used to develop university buildings.
“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 public uses that will continue to the rebirth of Downtown Reno,” a briefing document said.
As of now, the homes are used as housing or office space for students or staff, and the leases are due to expire on or before June 2018 and two of the homes stand vacant.
The current residents have been notified of the plans to move the houses.
Since the announcement of the plan to expand the university to this space in 2015, groups have worked to oppose UNR. The City of Reno’s Historical Resources Commission has strongly opposed the plans. They do not agree with the relocation and do not want the organizations that deal with the homeless, elderly and foster children to occupy the historical houses because of the damage these groups could cause.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.