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RDA confirms University Village will be planned for blighted area

5/19/09 - As you know, I've been reporting for a while now on discussions going on between the UNR and the City of Reno. After last Wednesday's city council meeting, those talks have now solidified into a Memorandum of Understanding. This is an official agreement between the two entities.

The 4 block area shown below will be planned as a large greenbelt for the university, redevelopment director Mark Lewis confirmed to the Reno Gazette. It's part of a larger vision emerging for the northeast downtown area which includes major players like Northern Nevada Urban Development and Golden Eagle Industries, who owns large chucks of land just south of the freeway in the same general area.

Much like the facade improvement program on Virginia Street, property owners in the area would be asked to participate to create a seamless look and feel, cleaning up blight in a large swath of downtown in the process.

So over the next 180 days, this master plan will be developed. As part of the plan, older houses on Center Street could be re-used for start-up office space or retail fronts, much like they are on California Avenue.

I am pretty excited about the green space concept. Judging by my recent poll results, most of you agree that improving the neighborhood directly around the University is a primary way to attract more students to UNR. This, coupled with the Tessera project and the continuing baseball district expansion, could mean big things for northeast downtown.

More info: RGJ


Post your comments
Posted by: Brian - 5/19/2009 6:09:46 PM
Wow!!! If everything goes according to plan it will mean huge changes for our downtown. fingers crossed!

Posted by: urbanblog - 5/19/2009 6:49:43 PM
Glad to see this being talked about. It would be good to extend this project a block north @ Virginia & 9th as well. Very positive development though - a cohesive college business district would be a great asset to UNR & the city.

Posted by: wiley_in_reno - 5/20/2009 10:05:46 AM
It's high time the U of Nevada got a district of their own. The back room at the Lil Wall doesn't count. I bet 87% of the Bay Area tourists leaving Reno don't know a University is a few blocks up the road past those god-awful, old, ugly, motels.

Posted by: Scott Schrantz - 5/20/2009 8:49:15 PM
It's good to hear them talking about reuse, and not just tearing everything down. There are some nice little houses tucked away in there.

Posted by: Anakin-Marc - 5/24/2009 6:59:46 AM
A thought regarding this project and the Tessera project... Walgreens, located above I-80, falls right in between the two. Considering the recent merger between Walgreens, Longs, and CVS (correct me if I'm wrong on that, all the mergers recently start to get confusing), is there any word on the possibility on some sort of a swap to move their location to the old Riverboat building considering all prep-work including fixtures have already been installed? That would not only free up that plot for something to actually link the two projects better than a drug store could, but would also place much needed retail in the area of the Montage and other residential structures in downtown. Also, another thought could be to build a second pad between Sierra and Virginia over the freeway to provide for more land to develop within downtown, much like the train trench cover.

Posted by: Justin Sullivan - 5/26/2009 12:38:55 PM
FINALLY! I love seeing projects like this getting the go-ahead. Thanks for keeping abreast of everything for us. I appreciate it.

Posted by: David - 8/25/2010 4:29:59 PM
I REALLY REALLY believe this project needs to happen ASAP! It seems like it should have been done years ago, even if it isn't done to the extent as planned. IMO, all those scummy motels on Virginia St should just do a basic makeover and convert into student apartments, and add some streetfront retail. IMO, these motels would make A LOT more money this way, and it would be huge for UNR and downtown. Its truly a win-win situation, I don't see why they haven't done this yet. UNR needs a good University nightlife mixed use district, and it wouldn't even take that much to create it.


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