Work on the stalled convention center and condominium project at the state line could resume this summer if all goes according to plan, South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Hal Cole said during a Tuesday council meeting.
Additional foreclosures of parcels at the site are expected in May and Owens Financial hopes to have the permits necessary to build the front retail portion of the former Chateau-at-Heavenly project by mid-summer, Cole said.
TRPA permits for the project are set to expire in July, but if progress is shown on the development the agency has expressed a willingness to extend its approvals, according to the councilman.
“It’s either now or the permits expire,” Cole said.
The parcel map for the site still needs to be consolidated. Caltrans has also been adamant that a sidewalk be among the first additions to the project, Cole said. The planned $420 million retail, condominium and convention center project has been stalled since early 2008 after financing fell through. The project, once envisioned as part of a reinvention of the South Shore, has been a sore spot for residents in the years since.
The proposal for the partial project is expected to be before the South Lake Tahoe Planning Commission and City Council in coming months. The partial development would be consistent with the project’s original phasing and permitting, Cole said.
Mayor Tom Davis said performance bonds need to be part of the renewed effort to construct the project to ensure it is completed this time around.
Engineers have taken X-rays of the existing concrete and rebar and have found the material will still be sound for the next two years, Cole said. If the permits expire, it could be years before another project makes it through the permitting process, the councilman said.
Cole said he expected to be criticized for pursuing a partial project, but said getting something on the ground could spur investment in the rest of the project.
“Our decision is, ‘do we want a partial step or no step at all?’” Cole said.