City considering seizing shopping center |

City considering seizing shopping center

The South Lake Tahoe Redevelopment Agency wants to own the Crescent V Shopping Center.

The Redevelopment Agency voted 4-1 May 1 to start the eminent domain process on the 15 acre parcel, which in turn would give the land to Crescent V Partners, the owners of the buildings on the property.

The land is owned by Jack Van Sickle, who refused the Redevelopment Agency’s offer to purchase the land late last year.

Crescent V Partners has a 34-year lease with Jack Van Sickle. The agreement has two 10 year options.

The agency wants to take the property from Van Sickle and hand it over to Crescent V Partners, which plans to spend between $8 and $10 million to remodel the property and make landscaping improvements. The project is scheduled to start in spring 2002. The only building that would come down as part of the project would be Pacific Pawn Brokers. Most of the project would be a remodel, but 42,000 square feet of retail would be added.

“That is not, in my opinion, a redevelopment project,” said, the only dissenting vote, agency member Bill Crawford. “It’s a face-lift.”

The property is already in the designated redevelopment area, said Janet McDougall, redevelopment analyst, and is located across the street and adjacent to the two Marriott hotel projects, scheduled to begin construction at the start of this building season.

“The vision is to tie it into redevelopment, so architecturally it all looks like one big project,” said agency member Tom Davis.

Once Crescent V Partners owns the property, it would be able to use the land to secure a loan for the project. It is also important for the redevelopment agency to have Crescent V Partners own the property, because it created a Mello-Roos district with all the entities that signed the Park Avenue development agreement. If Crescent V Partners owns the property, it will secure the vote, which is financially necessary for the Park Avenue Project.

“I think it’s one of the requisite elements for us to complete the plan as originally envisioned,” said Lew Feldman, attorney for the Park Avenue Project developers.

The agency only approved a resolution of intent to take the property by eminent domain, but plans to file an eminent domain action with El Dorado County Superior Court to acquire fee title to the property, McDougall said.

If the project is started in spring 2002, Feldman said the transit center, Cecil’s Market, and two Marriott hotels, which include a parking garage and retail center could be completed at the same time.

“We could have a cohesive and functioning destination resort by Christmas of next year,” Feldman said.

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