Truckee housing: Town OKs extra $100K to Artist Lofts loan | SierraSun.com

Truckee housing: Town OKs extra $100K to Artist Lofts loan

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The town of Truckee has long-touted a plan to redevelop the Railyard into a mixed-use housing and retail combo in the center of its downtown core, where local retailers and restaurateurs thrive.

Last week, town council approved a $100,000 increase in a loan provided to the developer behind the Truckee Artists Lofts portion of the Railyard Redevelopment Plan.

"The town loan commitment was extended to cover the March 2017 tax credit application period and the town loan was increased from $1.3 to 1.4 million," said Town Manager Town Lashbrook. "And in return, of the 77 units, 10 were market and 67 were affordable. Now, 5 of the 10 would be restricted to moderate income or below."

The artist lofts originally included 77 units with 10 priced at market rate, one unit reserved for a manager and the other 66 priced affordably — meaning they would be priced for and only available to wage earners in the low and extremely low income tax brackets.

An artist’s rendering of the planned Truckee Artist Lofts, courtesy of the Town of Truckee.

Now, the artist lofts will still contain one unit for a manager and 66 affordable housing units, but there will only be five market-rate units and the other five will be income-restricted for renters in the "moderate-income" range.

A regional housing study completed last year found that about 76 percent of local residents are overpaying for housing. That is to say that more than one-third of their income goes to housing costs.

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The entire Railyard plan, with its modern architecture that uses colors from the natural landscape, would not only add some much-needed affordable housing units to the region, but also encourage less reliance on cars because of its central location in downtown Truckee.

It would also eventually have a brewpub, movie theater as well as an amphitheater for live performances.

An artist’s rendering of the planned Truckee Artist Lofts project, courtesy of the Town of Truckee

 

But even though Truckee-Tahoe's economy has been recovering since the economic recession in 2008, financing affordable housing projects in the region can be difficult since California is grappling with its own statewide housing crisis, which means grant and tax credit applications are highly competitive.

The Truckee Artist Lofts project has been on hold because it did not receive the tax credit the developer had applied for during the last application period.

According to a letter from CFY Development, the artist lofts developer, to the town, the 9 percent tax credit, if approved, would "bring nearly $20 million to the development."

The letter also says that during the last application period, in June, there were 87 other applications.

"Truckee Artist Lofts competes in the 'Rural Set Aside' against projects from all over the State of California, and ultimately we were outscored by projects that were able to receive a greater proportion of soft financing," CFY Development Vice President Ali Youssefi said in the letter.

Youssefi was unable to be reached for comment for this story.

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at arhoades@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @akrhoades.

More online

The entire Railyard development is planned just east of downtown. Visit truckeerailyard.com for detailed plans, project history, maps and more.

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