TRPA packing up for bigger headquarters |

TRPA packing up for bigger headquarters

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Peeled pine logs, cedar siding and plants to help prevent soil from draining into Lake Tahoe can be requirements of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

So it comes as no surprise they are part of the agency’s new building

on Market Street off Kingsbury Grade. It will be the home of the agency starting next week.

The owners of the building are finishing more than $1 million in improvements that helped entice the agency to become their tenant.

Office space available to the TRPA, created from the bare bones of a warehouse, will double to 23,500 feet. Parking will also double from about 50 spaces to more than 100. The new office will allow TRPA to host public meetings at South Shore rather than having to rent space at the Horizon Casino Resort.

Because of the move the TRPA, which regulates building at the Lake Tahoe Basin, will be closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The shutdown will include its Web site and phone system. Staff is expected to box up and cart over its files, project blueprints and office equipment through the weekend so the agency can open Monday.

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“We’re hoping we’ve gotten the word out and people will simply plan ahead and not make a trip to the office Wednesday, Thursday or Friday,” said Pam Drum, TRPA spokeswoman.

The public will have to tolerate a makeshift front counter for about a week while the permanent one is finished. The counter is typically used by builders or owners to drop in and ask questions of staff or turn in applications.

The agency signed a four-year lease at the 128 Market St. address for approximately $400,000 a year, which is about the same amount it paid at Dorla Court. The lease allows TRPA an option to buy the office or extend its lease for up to 12 years.

In signing the lease, the agency agreed to pay $75,000 for tenant improvements, much less than what the owners paid to create the TRPA office. One of the owners, Falcon Capital, a development company with offices in Round Hill, was willing to absorb the cost because it can make more money renting the space as an office instead of a warehouse.

“For us, one main reason we bought the building was to have the TRPA as a tenant,” said Kevin Lane, president of K & S Inc., a firm in charge of renovating the building. Lane also works with his father, Randy Lane, at Falcon Capital, who is a member of the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission.

Falcon bought the Market Street property which runs parallel to Lake Vista, an affordable housing project built by Falcon, in August. The purchase came several days prior to the TRPA Governing Board’s voting to scrap plans to build its office next to the U.S. Forest Service building, which is now under construction on the Lake Tahoe Community College campus.

Even if the TRPA had decided to construct its own building, Falcon and K &S Inc., would have renovated the Market Street building so it could be rented at a higher market rate, Lane said.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at