Work on stalled South Lake Tahoe retail project may resume |

Work on stalled South Lake Tahoe retail project may resume

Adam Jensen

Work could resume as soon as next month on the much-maligned “hole in the ground” at the Nevada-California state line following approvals by the South Lake City Council last week.

The Council unanimously approved construction of a partial Chateau project Tuesday. Several council members expressed concerns with the partial project, but ultimately concluded that something is better than nothing at the stalled development site.

Owens Financial, the majority property owner of the site following bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings, has proposed building the retail portion of what was once envisioned as a more than $400 million retail, lodging and convention center project. Development of the site has been stalled for years after the original developer was unable to secure financing as the recession unfolded.

Lew Feldman, the South Shore attorney who is representing Owens Financial, said the proposal to build the retail portion along Lake Tahoe Boulevard is a way to see on-the-ground improvement and increase the marketability of the entire project to investors. Owens Financial, a mortgage bank headquartered at Walnut Creek, Calif., is not a development company and has established a wholly owned subsidiary, Tahoe Stateline Venture, to construct the partial project, according to the attorney.

Construction of the partial project is scheduled to resume in mid-July. A Caltrans permit for the project represents a potential snag in the construction schedule, Feldman said.

When, or if, construction of the portion of the project outside of what was approved last week will resume is unknown. Although the design of the project would need to remain in line with existing permit approvals, what ends up inside the buildings may change from original plans if it is developed.

Lodging in the original proposal could end up being timeshares, condominiums or hotel rooms, Feldman said.

Convention center space contained in the original project would remain.