At the Lake: South Lake in motion
The proposed convention center and hotel resort complex near Stateline drew the most interest at a Lake Tahoe South Shore Camber of Commerce town hall forum on Wednesday.
The third of three redevelopment projects discussed at the meeting, the convention center was described by South Lake Tahoe’s Redevelopment Director Gene Palazzo as a project that would eliminate blight in the downtown corridor, improve infrastructure, help with year-round market consistency and provide jobs.
Jim Gorman, a South Lake Tahoe resident of seven years, said he was especially interested in the downtown area and the convention center.
“I’m just trying to see what’s going on from a construction point of view in the next few years. I wanted to get a feel for construction opportunities,” Gorman said.
Construction on the convention center project, which is a $410 million public-private partnership with Lake Tahoe Development Co., will begin in May. Palazzo said it is expected to bring more than 700 construction jobs to the area.
The project consists of two condominium hotels. Combined the two hotels would have 422 rooms, 49,086 square feet of retail space and 630 parking spaces. The 93,000 square foot convention center would be located at the corner of Stateline and Highway 50. The plan also includes the possibility of a pedestrian overpass connecting the project with Heavenly Village on the south side of Highway 50.
Jill Teakell, a local real estate agent who moved here five years ago, said she was curious about the convention center project and how redevelopment projects will help create more affordable housing.
Palazzo said 20 percent of the money generated by the project will be used for affordable/workforce housing. He estimated $700,000 annually would be generated for affordable housing from the project.
“I would like people who work here to be able to afford to live here and work here,” Teakell said. “One of the things that I’ve heard, is that it’s recognized that people who come to live here don’t want to live in condominiums. Someone here has to figure out a way to use space to have maybe smaller homes.”
Redevelopment at the “Y”
Teakell said she hopes the redevelopment centered around the intersection of highways 50 and 89 at the “Y” will include more affordable housing.
At the meeting, Terri Jamin, community development director for the city, gave an overview of the Tahoe Valley Community Plan, which includes the “Y” area. Jamin
said preliminary plans for the project include a public gathering area surrounded by retail shops with residential properties on the outskirts.
A public draft of the Lake Tahoe Community Plan will be available March 23.
Whittell High School’s girls’ basketball program led area teams in all-league selections with two first-teamers and a second-teamer.
Seniors Jessica Woods and Megan Esquivel were Northern 2A first-team selections for the Warriors, who finished runner-up to state champion Battle Mountain in the regular season standings before being eliminated in the regional semifinals by Lovelock. Kendra Koskin, a junior, was chosen to the second team.
In addition, junior Christian Hernandez of the Whittell boys was a second-team pick.
The selections were made by the Northern 2A and 4A coaches during postseason meetings.
Woods, who is patiently trying to secure a Division I volleyball scholarship, gave the Warriors much more than points. She averaged 10.8 points, 3.7 steals, 2.7 blocked shots and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Esquivel, a forward, provided the Warriors with an inside presence who fearlessly drove to the basket. Combining with center Koskin in the low post, Esquivel was able to help ease the Warriors’ loss of Kelly Karmann to shoulder surgery. She finished the season averaging 8.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Koskin showed a nice touch from the foul line and became a more aggressive player as the season progressed. Her season averages were 8.1 points and 7.3 boards per game.
Whittell freshman Hannah Daly, who averaged 6.4 points, 2.2 steals and 9.4 boards per game, received honorable mention.
Battle Mountain’s Arantxa Kovis was awarded the league’s MVP award and concluded her senior year with a second straight state title.
Hernandez averaged nearly 10 points per game on a Whittell team that started slowly but finished with a flourish to qualify for regionals. The junior forward/guard demonstrated the ability to slash inside for easy buckets and was a capable rebounder.
“He came on strong,” said Whittell coach Brian Mehrer. “If things go as planned, I see him running the two spot next year.”
Whittell freshman 6-foot-2 center Jordan Morgan received honorable mention. Morgan missed a good chunk of the season due to injury but still scored a high game of 26 points and had four other performances in double figures.
Mehrer is excited about the team’s possibilities for next season since only one player is lost to graduation and a talented group of eighth-graders will join the program.
“We’ll have some numbers. Fifteen eighth-graders signed up wanting to play basketball next year,” Mehrer said. “There are two or three kids in the eighth-grade class who might make a varsity impact right away.”