It has been several years since a wood-and-concrete barrier was erected in front of a construction project, once seemingly abandoned at the California-Nevada state line, to block a large excavation area dubbed the “Ta-hole” from motorists and pedestrians.
But after years of hurdles and setbacks, the fence came down Monday to reveal the extensive progress being made on a $15 million phase of the project.
“This is a great day for the city and a great day for out citizens,” South Lake Tahoe Councilman Tom Davis said at the construction site Monday. “We’ve waited a long, long time to see this portion of the hole in the ground completed.”
Locals and tourists can now catch a glimpse of the Chateau project through a chain-linked fence along Hwy 50, where construction on about 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space is nearing completion.
According to Davis, a deli will go in on the south side of the project near McP’s Pub Tahoe, and another restaurant will move into the structure with the cone-shaped roof across from Harveys.
The shops between the two restaurants will be retail, Davis said, but what they will sell exactly is currently unknown.
Lew Feldman, the South Shore attorney representing Owens Financial, the majority property owner of the site, did not return multiple phone calls for comment.
Whatever the stores may be, city Councilwoman JoAnn Conner said the new shopping center, along with the addition of new sidewalks and features, will be better for everyone all around.
“It will be much safer for local, tourists and businesses,” she said. “It’s a total win.”
Large construction vehicles removed the heavy concrete blocks that made up a portion of the barrier Monday, so workers could start building the landscape and heated sidewalks.
It was the latest development in what Owens Financial considers a part of a larger project for the site. Earlier this year, the company acquired nine parcels, or 3.4 acres, of land that are a portion of the permitted Chateau development.
The company has said that the additional space allows it to build the originally envisioned $400 million project, which consists of constructing a 19,000-square-foot spa, 58,000 square feet of retail, 20,000 square feet or more of meeting space and 477 hotel and condo units.
“We’re so excited to see the wall finally coming down,” Conner said. “It’s been years in the making.”
Davis said businesses at the site are expected to open by mid-June or early July.