Sale of UNR’s 104-acre McCarran parcel OK’d; $18 million offer on table |

Sale of UNR’s 104-acre McCarran parcel OK’d; $18 million offer on table

UNR has $18 million offer from local development company Reno Land Inc.

Mike Wolterbeek

Special to the NNBV

The University of Nevada, Reno’s Main Station Field Laboratory is used for research, education and outreach with sheep and cattle grazing, hay and alfalfa production and other specialty projects.
Courtesy UNR
EDITOR'S NOTE: The headline of this story has been updated from a previous version to clarify that while the Board of Regents has approved the sale of the property, and Reno Land Inc. has submitted an $18 million offer, the parcel has not yet officially been sold. "The board approved the University selling the parcel at $18 million. They didn’t approve a buyer," UNR Communications Officer Mike Wolterbeek told the NNBV in an email Wednesday. "We are in contract with Reno Land (Inc.) and hope to get the sale in escrow soon." The NNBV apologizes for any confusion with the original headline.

RENO, Nev. – The Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education at its Nov. 16 meeting in Las Vegas approved the sale of a 104-acre parcel at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Main Station Field Laboratory for $18 million, the appraised value of the property.

The University had previously attempted to find a buyer through a Request for Proposal process, which didn’t attract buyers who were able to ultimately meet the conditions of the RFP. The minimum bid for the RFP was $20 million.

A new appraisal, including new information about flood mitigation and infrastructure requirements, adjusted the price to $18 million. The sale was then conducted through a broker on the open market.

Reno Land Inc. has offered $18 million for the property, and the University and Reno Land, Inc are now under contract.

The proceeds of the sale will be used for several projects:

  • to renovate the Nevada Agriculture Experiment Station Valley Road laboratories
  • develop research capabilities at the J Dow NAES wetlands
  • build ADA compliant classrooms at Main Station Field Lab
  • construction of the Eureka Agriculture Center for Range and Sheep Improvement
  • development of the International Center of Dryland Agriculture
  • an endowed professorship for indoor/urban agriculture
  • support the plan to develop a research/Cooperative Extension facility in Clark County, and
  • renovations of critical laboratory facilities on the University’s main campus for the benefit of all students, research faculty and staff.

The Main Station Field Laboratory will be approximately 762 acres following the sale of this parcel and a 40-acre parcel off of Pembroke Drive that is up for sale.

The Main Station Field Lab is a major research, educational, and outreach facility operated by the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station within the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the University.

It has been home to herds of cattle and sheep and actively irrigated to grow alfalfa, hay and other crops since 1956. The field lab, also known as the Main Station Farm, is home to Wolf Pack Meats, one of the most technologically advanced meat processing plants in the region, which is used to teach meat sciences, for research and is open commercially to the public.

The 104-acre parcel, known as the McCarran Planned Unit Development, is at the west side of the Main Station Field Lab along McCarran Boulevard roughly between Mill Street and Pembroke Drive.

At the meeting, the Regents also rescinded the 1981 Board Resolution 81-8 with respect to the sale proceeds, so the parcel sale proceeds can be used to fund the current proposed projects. The 1981 resolution would have restricted use of any sale proceeds to mostly CABNR initiatives.

Mike Wolterbeek is Communications Officer at the University of Nevada, Reno. Visit to learn more.