City of South Lake Tahoe purchases property to relocate Public Works division

Griffin Rogers
South Lake Tahoe city officials recently purchased 1740 D St. for about $1.5 million.
Griffin Rogers / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

South Lake Tahoe city officials approved the $1.5 million purchase of 1740 D St. last week, as they prepare to move a Public Works division to a new location.

The site will serve as the new location for the Public Works Corporation Yard, which is currently located at 1160 Rufus Allen Blvd. It will be next to another public works division, located in the same area.

As it stands, the Public Works Corporation Yard sits in the heart of 56-Acre, a recreational project outlined in the city’s Strategic Vision. Moving it will allow the city to “create new recreational opportunities in its place,” according to a Nov. 5 staff report.

Escrow on 1740 D St. closed last week, but it could be at least two years before the Corporation Yard moves in, Public Works Director Raymond Jarvis said Thursday.

“Honestly, we are just in the initial stages of this,” he said. “There’s a lot more planning before this needs to happen.”

The planning needed to relocate a large division can be extensive, Jarvis said. Before the Corporation Yard can begin moving, the city needs both time and money for the transition.

“I think we need to save some money first,” he said.

City Manager Nancy Kerry presented the opportunity to the City Council in closed session after 1740 D St. and 1708 Shop St. became available, according to the staff report. The owner of the property, David Cooper, met with Kerry in fall 2012 to discuss the purchase.

The City Council approved the $396,017.50 purchase of 1708 Shop St. on Oct. 1. That space, an empty lot, could be used for snow storage at a later time, Jarvis said.

The other parcel, however, includes a large building, which currently houses four businesses: Sierra Valley Electric, Tahoe Speedboat Co., Vacation Rental Assistants of Lake Tahoe and a gym.

The companies have been informed of the city’s intention to eventually occupy the space, Jarvis said.

Nevertheless, at least one of the businesses is worried about finding space in the future. Sandy Herback, owner of Sierra Valley Electric, said the availability of commercial space in South Lake Tahoe is limited, but at least she has a while to look.

“I’ve since had various conversations with people at the city,” she said. “They have all assured me I don’t have to move out in the very near future, and I hope that’s true. I look forward to a good working relationship with the city.”

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