Year 2000 projected startup date for Park Ave. redevelopment
Lead redevelopment attorney Lew Feldman told the city’s planning commission Wednesday night that plans to reconstruct part of the state line area known as Project 3 could break ground as early as 2000.
The Project 3 zone consists of the area west of the state line, east of Park Avenue and north of U.S. Highway 50 to the lake.
All of the properties within the zone will be torn down or redeveloped with the exception of the Stardust, which Feldman said is too costly to acquire because of its interval ownership.
The city’s Redevelopment Agency is sponsoring the project along with Harveys Resort/Hotel Casino and Segal-Yue families.
An Environmental Impact Statement and Report was filed with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency on Jan. 30. The public comment period required by law will expire on April 6, freeing the city to begin construction, in theory.
Construction on the Park Avenue Project, the redevelopment project across U.S. Highway 50 from Project 3 west of Park Avenue, is scheduled to begin next year.
Feldman said a goal in designing Project 3 was to make it a compliment to the Park Avenue Project rather than a competitor.
The finished project will contain such amenities as a convention center, art and child-care center, an acre-and-a-half replica of Lake Tahoe in a courtyard, and a parkway leading to the lake.
Also a component of Project 3 is an underground link from the project area to the gondola park.
Feldman said with all these components in place, the projects will link the mountains to the intermodal transit facility, to the casinos, to the lake. A gondola leading to Heavenly Ski Resort is planned as part of the Park Avenue Project.
Each project, once begun, should take 14 to 18 months to complete, Feldman said.
“If it’s done in 24 months, then that’s cause to celebrate,” Feldman said.
When asked by Bob Hedley, commission chair, if it was reasonable to expect both projects to be complete and functional within five years, Feldman answered, “Yes, that would be my expectation.”
Plans to begin the Park Avenue Project have been stalled due to changes in ownership of the Lake Tahoe Inn and Heavenly.
Trilogy Development Corporation in Vancouver has secured rights and entered in agreement to redevelop the Lake Tahoe Inn and American Ski Company now owns Heavenly. Both are now expected to flow smoothly with the project, according to Feldman.
Representatives of Balloffet and Associates, the group which completed the EIR/EIS, told the commission that Project 3, while contributing more vehicle traffic to the area, is expected to have an overall beneficial effect on the environment.
There will be pretreatment vaults with sedimentation basins constructed into the project for water quality and 16 percent less of the ground area will be covered with an impervious surface when the project is complete.
“It will be adding a little more area for songbirds,” James J. Jordan, principal associate for Balloffet, said. “We want a solid economy, but also a solid ecosystem.”
The city has plans to undertake various redevelopment projects, including the Ski Run Marina project, plans to landscape U.S. Highway 50 and the Harrison Avenue project, in an effort to boost the city’s sagging economy.
South Lake Tahoe, which thrived on money poured into the local economy from skiers, gamblers and other visitors, has seen a decline in room occupancy over the past decade.
City officials believe that re-creating blighted areas within the city will bring back some of the business the city has likely lost to Reno and Las Vegas, cities whose economies are currently growing.
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