Latest News – Land Swap articles

Article 2 – Land Swap that would put Nevada Historical Society in downtown Reno…
Michelle Rindels, Nevada Independent Reporter
December 4, 2018

A land swap that would put the Nevada Historical Society’s museum in a bigger location in downtown Reno and give the University of Nevada Reno more on-campus space for offices is one step closer to reality.

The Nevada Board of Examiners, chaired by Gov. Brian Sandoval, gave its approval Tuesday to an arrangement in which the historical society gives its state-owned building at UNR, two vacant parcels of undeveloped land near the campus and about $774,000 in cash in exchange for UNR’s Warren Nelson building downtown. The Nevada Board of Regents already approved the swap, and the legislative Interim Finance Committee still needs to do so.

“Do [the regents] feel like I feel? I think this is marvelous,” Sandoval said about the deal, which he called a “win-win.”

Representatives from the historical society say they’ve outgrown their facility on the north end of the college campus and have to store much of their collection off-site. They also say they prefer to be at the Warren Nelson building downtown on 2nd Street and near the Truckee River, where fine dining options have been opening up and where the museum would be closer to its target audience.

“It’s just a fabulous location,” Sandoval said. “It’s just another nice complement to what’s happening there.”

The Warren Nelson building is two and a half times bigger than the UNR site, and also includes the 200-seat Laxalt Auditorium suitable for museum programming.

UNR Vice President of Administration and Finance Vic Redding, in turn, said the university was thrilled to get more space on campus. It plans to set up 70 workspaces there and place either a fast-growing academic program or a variety of back office positions in the historical society’s old building.

The sale is expected to close escrow by March 2020, although both parties are anxious to seal the deal more quickly. After that, the historical society needs another eight to 10 months to move its collections to the downtown building.


Article 1 – UNR closer in a $4.5 million trade for downtown Reno’s Nelson Building
Siobhan McAndrew, Reno Gazette Journal Reporter
November 30, 2018

The University of Nevada, Reno is a step closer in trading its  Nelson Building in a deal worth $4.5 million.

On Friday, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board, the governing body over the state’s public colleges, gave permission for UNR to trade the downtown Reno Nelson Building for the Nevada Historical Society’s building, two plots of land and $773,625 in cash.

“This is a fascinating series of transactions,” said UNR President Marc Johnson about the deal that trades the Nelson Building, a 1.6 acre downtown lot, for campus property.

The new deal with Nevada State Land’s, which owns the Historical Society’s building on the north end of campus, also comes with two vacant parcels on campus totaling 2.68 acres and $773,625 in cash. The parcels are near North McCarran Boulevard and Evans Avenue.

Currently, the Nevada Historical Society has a lease with UNR for 1650 N. Virginia St. until 2066. UNR said the historical society “wished to expand their operation and have identified the Nelson building as a suitable new location.”

The sale also has to get approval from the Nevada State Legislature’s Interim Fiance Committee and the State of Nevada Board of Examiners at meetings in December and February.

The Nevada Historical Society’s 22,860 square foot building on the north end of campus will be used by UNR, Johnson said. He said the cash in the deal will be used to renovate the space into offices.

UNR had a deal in 2016 to sell the Nelson Building for $7 million, almost double the appraised value, to the Don J Clark Group.

The development group said it planned to redevelop the 1.6 acre downtown location as part of a 17-acre redevelopment plan in downtown Reno called West 2nd District. It was touted as a $1.2 billion project with high rises, housing, retail, hotels and a park.

The deal fell through in 2017 and UNR kept Clark Group’s $700,000 deposit.