City looking to purchase Knights Inn, Mo’s Place parcels
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Environmental restoration and a commercial project could come to the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and Ski Run Boulevard as soon as next year following a decision by the South Lake Tahoe City Council Tuesday, Feb. 16.
The council authorized City Manager Nancy Kerry to enter the city into a $6 million agreement with Pradip Patel for the purchase of the parcels where Knights Inn and Mo’s Place now sit. The city is hoping to combine the parcels with a vacant lot at the intersection of Highway 50 and Ski Run Boulevard known as the Southwest Corner for an environmental improvement and commercial development tentatively titled the Bijou Park Creek Project.
Designs for the project remain conceptual, and moving forward is contingent on California Tahoe Conservancy awarding the city a grant through California’s 2014 Water Bond to pay for much of the purchase.
“If granted, the maximum amount the city may receive would be the appraised value (approximately $4.5 million),” according to a city staff report. “The difference between appraised value and sale’s price (approximately $1.5 million) would be funded through closure of escrow on the Southwest Corner ($1.1 million) and approximately $400,000 may be required from the city’s unassigned excess reserves or alternate sources.”
The nature of the commercial portion of the project has not been disclosed by the city, but preliminary modeling estimates the project could reduce the amount of fine sediment entering Lake Tahoe by 8,000 pounds per year. Researchers have identified fine sediment as the most significant cause of Lake Tahoe’s historic clarity loss. Long-standing water drainage problems in and around Lloyd and Herbert avenues would also be improved through the project.
California Tahoe Conservancy is expected to announce a decision on the grant funding in March.
The earliest the project could break ground is spring 2017, Kerry said.
“Should it all work out, it would be the biggest project we’ve seen in many, many years,” Kerry said.