420 units of affordable housing to hit Zephyr Cove
June 26, 2017
ZEPHYR COVE — Almost a year after Douglas County School District entered into a purchase agreement with a Glenbrook development and management company for the former Kingsbury Middle School, the sale is nearly finalized and more details have been released on the affordable housing project.
"We hope to close on the sale by the end of the month, but it could be more like mid-July," said Patrick Taylor, CEO of Lake Parkway LLC. The sale price of the school, which sits on roughly 22.5 acres in Zephyr Cove, was settled at $3.15 million last July. Kingsbury Middle School closed in June 2008 due to declining student enrollment at Douglas County's three Lake Tahoe schools. It was put on the market for $4 million in January 2012.
Taylor said the plan is to demolish the existing school building next August or September and begin construction on 420 units of affordable housing in four phases over the following three years.
Construction on the first 126 units will start in May 2019 and finish June 2020, followed by another 126 units beginning in September 2019 and wrapping up October 2020. Two additional construction phases of 84 units each will kick off in May 2020 and September 2020, and wrap up in June 2021 and October 2021, respectively.
The ten 42-unit stucco buildings will include one-, two- and three-bedroom options, all with one- or two-car attached garages.
"They are deed-restricted for life," explained Taylor. "You have to make at or below 80 percent of the median county income to qualify." For Douglas County, the median household income is $58,535, according to 2015 census data.
Taylor, whose company owns other apartments along Kahle Drive in Lake Tahoe and in North Carolina, said pets would most likely be allowed.
"I would think so. I don't see why we wouldn't," he noted.
Access to the property will likely be from a repaved (and possibly renamed) Sewer Plant Road. Bike paths will connect the site to shopping at the Round Hill Center to the north and Kahle Community Center and Stateline to the south.
"This is going to take a lot of daily vehicle trips out of the basin because we all know how many people commute from Carson, Gardnerville and Reno, and they drive over the hill every single day," added Taylor.
This isn't the only affordable housing project Lake Parkway LLC had in the works, but it's the only one that will be proceeding — at least for now.
Taylor intended to purchase the Wells Fargo building in Stateline to convert the parcel into a mix of commercial space and affordable housing units.
"There weren't enough housing units. The parcel size dictates the density, and this had only 56 units," explained Taylor. "Building any apartment building less than 150 units, it's really questionable as to whether it will be a profitable project."
Taylor had hoped to purchase the vacant lot next to the Wells Fargo parcel, which is owned by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, but Paragon Gaming, the company that manages the casino, didn't want to sell the lot. This additional lot would have allowed Lake Parkway to increase the number of affordable housing units in the mixed-use building they had in mind.
Had the project moved forward, the four drive-thru lanes (which are "grandfathered in" as they're no longer allowed in the Tahoe Basin) would have been home to In-N-Out Burger, Wells Fargo, and possibly Starbucks and CVS.
The proposed seven-story building would have had commercial space on the bottom, multiple levels of affordable housing, and a top-floor restaurant with a lake view.
Though the project isn't necessarily dead, Taylor said his focus is on the 420 units of affordable housing in Zephyr Cove.
"The [Wells Fargo] project took a lot of my time and energy and it didn't work out, so for now I'm just going to stick with this one project."