Tahoe’s Nevada shore to see first new beach homes in decades
STATELINE -- Crumbling pavement and some unoccupied mobile homes are among the reminders of what used to occupy the site of the future Tahoe Beach Club.
But the developers, politicians and local business leaders on the beach in Stateline Monday afternoon weren’t there to pick through remnants of what used to be.
The dignitaries, including Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, were looking out toward Lake Tahoe and what they envisioned for the future of the 20-acre, lakefront property.
“What we are witnessing today, here, in Tahoe is really the beginning of a renaissance in our built environment,” said Joanne Marchetta, executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency of the plan to build nearly 150 luxury condominiums and a beachfront clubhouse just north of the casino district on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.
Marchetta said the Tahoe Beach Club, which has been in development for nearly 15 years, represents the future of redevelopment for lakeside communities she said were characterized by development from the “middle of last century.”
“Some of us would call it 1950s kitsch,” she said.
The club, according to developers and planning agency staff, would be the first new, full-ownership lakefront homes on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe in about 30 years, although there have been time-share developments in that time.
It also represents an environmental win for people interested in improving water clarity in Lake Tahoe and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases produced in the Tahoe Basin.
Thats because new drainage infrastructure at the Tahoe Beach Club will capture as much as 11,000 pounds of sediment annually that would otherwise run into the lake.
It’s enough to allow Douglas County to reach its goal of reducing the amount of sediment flowing from its portion of shoreline by 10 percent or more, said Commissioner Nancy McDermid.
“They want you to be able to see a white disk 100-feet down,” said McDermid, a reference to the Secchi Disk, the traditional method for measuring Tahoe’s clarity. “Millions and millions of dollars have been spent to improve that clarity.”
In addition to improving water clarity the development will improve air quality because inefficient wood stoves and other heat sources from the 54 displaced mobile homes are no longer on the site.
The developers are making good on their promise to develop deed-restricted low and moderate income housing sufficient to make up for the displaced homes and paid former tenants thousands each to relocate.
But the relocation process, which began as far back as 2003 when the project was in early planning stages, wasn’t always embraced by mobile home residents who were forced out.
"Here we are in our golden years, and nowhere to go," former mobile home resident Betty Neff,82, told officials in 2008 before the project won final approval, according to an Associated Press report from the time. "It's all about money and greed."
Now, with approvals and funding in hand, developers are ready to start construction on the approximately $300 million project.
In addition to a new pier and water treatment facility, both of which are already in place, they plan to bury unsightly overhead lines and get to work developing the clubhouse and luxury residential units.
Bob Mecay, the CEO of Beach Club Development who has been shepherding the project for more than a decade, was clearly excited at the prospect of construction.
Before it was a mobile home community the site was used for an airport.
When the Tahoe Beach Club is complete there will be no more crumbling asphalt and the mosquito infested drainage ditch will be long gone.
Instead, it will be characterized by condos ranging in size from about 1,200 to 4,500 square feet and a 32,000 square foot clubhouse offering dining, a yoga and Pilates center and spa.
It will connect to neighboring Forest Service property and a nearby country club via the beach and a network of scenic trails.
“This is one of the most beautiful sand beaches on Lake Tahoe,” Mecay said. “We literally have miles and miles of sand beaches here.”
Mecay said some of the homes could be complete by autumn, 2017.