UNR plans to develop Gateway District with hotel and conference center
The University of Nevada, Reno is working with a Maryland-based real estate company to build a new business school as part of a complex with retail stores, public convention space and a hotel on the south end of the campus.
UNR has entered into an agreement with Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate, which will be responsible for developing a 2-acre area of the Mathewson University Gateway neighborhood bordered by Interstate 80, Ninth Street, Virginia Street and Evans Avenue.
The area would include a 125,000 square foot College of Business building, a 50-room hotel and public conference space.
UNR President Brian Sandoval said the goal of the project is to create a mixed-use area that highlights the relationship between UNR and the city of Reno.
The plan is expected to be approved by the Nevada System of Higher Education, the governing body for colleges in the state. UNR and Edgemoor said the plans would be presented publicly at a meeting in the spring of 2023.
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According to documents submitted by UNR to collect bids, the project would be developed under a long-term lease, with UNR retaining ownership of the underlying real estate. UNR would sublet the college building to the developer, who would pay the costs upfront.
After a emphyteutic lease of up to 50 years, UNR would then own the building and the property.
Vic Redding, UNR’s vice president for administration and finance, said lease and contract details are still being negotiated, but the project would not use state money. .
The development could also include graduate and faculty housing and other types of commercial use, depending on the offer. The offer also says that the UNR reserves the right to exclude certain uses, including gaming, cannabis, adult entertainment, pawnshops, payday loans and competitive educational businesses.
Edgemoor says online that he has completed 100 higher education projects, including a 55-acre mixed-use development project at the University of Kansas.
According to the Edgemoor website, the area to be developed for the College of Business would be done by LMN Architects and Clark Construction Group. Woodmont Lodging, a hotel owner in the college market, would oversee the development of the hospitality and conference center.
The Gateway area was named Mathewson University Gateway in 2020 for Charles and Stacie Mathewson, who provided funds to purchase and develop the area. In 2018, UNR began the process of moving or demolishing 12 houses, built between the 1890s and 1970s, in the neighborhood to make way for the new plans. A parking garage with over 800 spaces just to the east of this area is due for completion later this year.
Siobhan McAndrew tells stories about the people of northern Nevada and covers education in Washoe County. Read his journalism here. Consider supporting his work by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal.