Conservancy pursues Alta Mira purchase |

Conservancy pursues Alta Mira purchase

Adam Jensen
Adam Jensen/Tahoe Daily TribuneThe Alta Mira building is pictured Thursday afternoon. The California Tahoe Conservancy's Board has authorized staff to purchase on option on the building.

One of the South Shore’s most recognizable views could get more expansive following a decision by California Tahoe Conservancy this week.

On Thursday, the agency’s board authorized staff to pursue a $10,000 option on the Alta Mira building, located near the eastern end of El Dorado Beach at 3339 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Acquiring the option will give the Conservancy the right to purchase the property for $2.5 million within 18 months. If the purchase is completed, the building would be torn down and the land restored to open up an additional 190 feet of scenic lakefront along one of the South Shore’s most popular recreation areas.

“This will be a signature achievement for South Lake Tahoe,” City Councilwoman Angela Swanson, who also serves on Conservancy Board, said in a Thursday statement. “Together with the Conservancy’s $6 million investment in El Dorado Beach and the city’s plans to renovate Harrison Avenue, we now have the potential to dramatically transform our most popular and spectacular lakefront area.”

The Conservancy would contribute $2 million toward purchase of the building, with the Tahoe Fund possibly contributing the remaining $500,000.

While the Tahoe Fund’s Board of Directors has not formally awarded funding for acquisition of the property, Board President Cindy Gustafson said she expects the Fund’s contribution to move forward.

“We haven’t taken formal action, but this exactly the type of niche that we see as so critical to the success of the Fund and why it is so needed,” Gustafson said Thursday.

A decision on the funding is expected in April or May.

The building currently houses several commercial and residential tenants. The tenants are on month-to-month leases and have been informed of the owner’s willingness to sell the building, said Bruce Eisner, program manager at the Conservancy.

Also at Thursday’s meeting:

n The Conservancy agreed to transfer several small urban parcels to South Lake Tahoe in return for city-owned land with significant potential for restoration, according to Thursday’s statement.

Under the proposal now headed to the City Council for approval, the Conservancy would receive eight acres on the former site of the drive-in movie theater along Glenwood Way and 24 acres adjacent to the Upper Truckee River west of Silverwood Circle.

The city will receive a total of 19 acres, including five small lots next to the Tribune building off of Harrison Avenue, the former Unocal gas station property along Highway 50 and several parcels already managed by the city adjacent to Regan Beach and the ballfields near Lake Tahoe Community College.

The Conservancy also announced its intent to consider the sale of several other surplus parcels in South Lake Tahoe to generate revenue for high priority projects and programs.

Under a new set of guidelines approved by the board, these sales will be restricted to lands that are not necessary for Conservancy conservation or recreation projects. The parcels approved for pre-sale activities include the Tallac Vista property at the end of Sherman Way near Heavenly Ski Area, two parcels of land near the “Y” and two 20-acre home sites west of Lodgepole Trail on the Lyons Ranch East property.

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