South Lake Tahoe may have a new restaurant, bar, gym and spa — along with one less old motel — by spring 2015.
Plans are currently in place to convert the 27-unit Highland Inn, located at 3979 Lake Tahoe Blvd, into a 3,851-square-foot restaurant and bar, a 3,352-square-foot spa and a 1,783-square-foot gym.
The plan has already been approved by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, said owner Moe Rahmani, and the design review and permit for the project was approved by city planning commissioners Thursday.
“I’m very excited about this project,” Rahmani said Friday. “I think it’s going to look really sharp and be good for the city. There’s going to be one less old motel in this town.”
Construction, expected to begin after Labor Day and end about eight months later, will involve the replacement of existing fences, the replacement of lighting, and the installation of sidewalks, landscaping and best management practices.
The structure itself will remain the same shape, but the facade and interior of the building will be completely redone, Rahmani said. Exterior modifications will include new stone and wood siding.
“It’s going to be hot,” he said.
At this time, no specific businesses have signed on to occupy the proposed space, but Rahmani said there were “a couple interested” parties. Mountain Mike’s Tees and Skis, an existing business that has been operating on the southeast side of the inn for about 16 years, will stay on the property.
Rahmani said his hope is that the conversion attracts more tourists and locals to the property.
At the city planning commission meeting, a couple commissioners expressed their support for the plan. Commissioner Tamara Wallace was one of them.
“I think this is fabulous,” Wallace said. “I think a high tide rises all ships and any new projects down there are great.”
Vice chairwoman Judy Brown said she was happy to see the development project come before the planning commission.
“We haven’t been approving that much lately in terms of getting things spruced up down there that are immediate plans. We’ve been approving a lot of things down the road, so it’s exciting to me,” she said.