UNR 450 Sinclair ImageThe worst keep secret in City and University circles is finally public.  UNR is “purchasing” 450 Sinclair Street, Reno’s former Community Development building.  The tentatively plan is to locate facilities for “advanced level engineering” and graduate Business School functions at the new site.

UNR is paying $1,475,000 for the 18,500 building and .85 acre site, about $80 PSF.  The price seems a little on the lite side to me, but there are caveats.  Reno used bond money to install energy efficiency improvements in the building and those bonds have another 14 years until they are paid off.  UNR will pay the City an annual rent of $138,464 or a total of $1,938,496 over the term, after which they will own the building outright.  HERE is a bit of history on the project.

This is GREAT news for downtown.  Integrating UNR into the community is absolutely key to maintaining the pace of redevelopment.  If the building is used for just office space, that will add about 100 warm bodies eating and shopping downtown (Baja Midtown?).  If it has a more classroom function, that is even more people supporting the commercial community.

So check one off on my list of $100,000,000 in projects in planning within 3 blocks of City Hall.  The next one I expect to close has never formally been on the market and has one of Reno’s only “green roofs”, though only because of a lack of maintenance.  The one after that might look like this: