Edgewood hotel project looks to city for development rights
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A proposed hotel project at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course is making its way through the planning process, but won’t be constructed until market conditions improve, according to the project’s manager.
A draft of the environmental document for the Edgewood Lodge project is under review by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and is expected to be released for public comment this winter, said Project Manager Brandon Hill.
The proposal includes construction of a luxury hotel and small, fractionally owned houses over a 10-acre project site at the golf course.
Under the project, the ninth hole would be relocated to include a lakefront green, a shoreline parking lot would be removed and water quality projects would be constructed to improve the health of the Edgewood creek watershed, Hill said.
But the primary goal of the more than $200 million dollar venture is to provide luxury, boutique accommodations for an under-served high-end market at the South Shore. Providing such accommodations could be catalytic to the revitalization of the area, according to Hill.
“Certainly we would expect the Edgewood Lodge to be transformational for the market at the South Shore,” Hill said.
Development requirements for the lodge project could also see the transformation of at least one property in South Lake Tahoe.
The lodge project will require about 230 Tourist Accommodation Units in order to move forward. Tourist Accommodation Units are rights to build hotel rooms or other temporary accommodations in the Lake Tahoe Basin under TRPA regulations.
Edgewood Companies, the owner of the golf course and surrounding property, has already secured 110 TAUs pre-approved for transfer from Redevelopment Project 3, Hill said.
The company plans to obtain the remaining 120 Tourist Accommodation Units from properties within South Lake Tahoe’s city limits, including the C&M Lodge at 1209 Bonanza Avenue.
The company is under contract to purchase the property and has applied to the city to transfer up to 60 Tourist Accommodation Units from C&M Lodge to the lodge project.
Under a conceptual plan, Edgewood Companies would replace the existing buildings at C&M with 15 to 18 units of affordable or moderate-income housing in eight structures.
The about 50 TAUs that would still be needed for the project would also come from properties from other sources within the city, but Hill did not say where.
Obtaining the TAUs from sources within the city will allow Edgewood Companies to stay flexible when it comes to the future of the Horizon Casino Resort, Hill said. Edgewood Companies eyed Horizon’s hotel as a potential source of TAUs for the golf course lodge project in its initial application to the TRPA in 2008.
What will happen to the Horizon after Columbia Sussex’s lease runs out on the property on March 31, 2014, is unknown. Edgewood Companies is looking a wide range of options, Hill said.
“We would love to see the property redeveloped, but we don’t know what’s going to happen with that site,” Hill said.
Transferring TAUs from the city is subject to approval by the South Lake Tahoe City Council, which passed an ordinance regulating the transfer of TAUs and commercial floor area, another TRPA-regulated development commodity, outside of city limits in May.
The ordinance regulates such transfers to prevent them from negatively impact planning goals in the city.
“The goal is that, prior to the transfer of CFA and TAUs outside the city limits, there be specific findings made of economic, social or environmental benefits by the City Council of benefit to the city,” according to the ordinance.
The C&M Lodge has contributed just $3,000 in hotel tax to the city over the past five years and the Edgewood project will provide “significant economic benefit” to the South Shore, even though it will be built across the state line, Hill said.
Providing funding to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority for lake-wide marketing purposes via Douglas County’s hotel tax, creating 175 jobs and attracting discretionary spending from guests are all potential benefits to the city from the Edgewood project, Hill said.
If approved, a three-year construction process of Edgewood Lodge could begin as soon as 2012.
But construction will not proceed until economic conditions improve and capital markets are re-established, Hill said.