Condo conversion |

Condo conversion

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunThe owners of the Aspens of Truckee are applying to turn the apartments into condominiums, but aren't rushing rental tenants out the door.

The owners of the Aspens of Truckee are applying to turn the apartments into condominiums, but aren’t rushing rental tenants out the door.

Located on the intersection of Donner Trail Road and Edmunds Drive, the 32-unit complex was built in 1994-96 initially as condominiums.

Today, owners Jeff and Patty Baird are going before the planning commission to ask if they can convert the building back to for-sale units.

“The rentals have no immediate threat; this change doesn’t mean the units won’t stay as rentals,” said Jeff Baird, who also owns the Cedar House Sport Hotel. “People are not going to be uprooted for quite a while.”

Baird said the decision to seek the change had been in the works since the units were built, and the change would give him flexibility in how the units are funded in the future.

“Our 10-year apartment loan is now coming due, and it’s time to turn them into condominiums,” Baird said. “We don’t want to be locked into 10 more years of rentals.”

Investors can purchase the units and rent them out, he said.

Aspens resident Amber Whitman said she had received a letter that reassured her she would not be affected in the near-future, and added that she isn’t particularly concerned with the conversion.

“The management is great; they are really responsive, taking care of everything,” Whitman said. “I’ve been really happy.”

Truckee Associate Planner Jenna Endres said she hasn’t received any comments from tenants of the apartment complex, and said she believes the applicants have followed all legal requirements in notifying residents.

Baird said tenants would be given first preference in buying the condos, likely at a discounted rate. He said the units would likely sell at below low-income prices, but exact amounts have not yet been determined.

The units were established as rentals because Baird said he saw a need for market-rate apartments in Truckee.

“There was a need for folks working at the public utility district, police, sheriffs, and at the town ” professionals who wanted something predictable, not vacation rentals,” Baird said. “And they’ve been full the entire time.”

But Baird said in the 10 years as rentals, he has had to turn down a number of people wanting to purchase the units as well.

Tom Ballou, housing services director for the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe, said that while market-rate rentals are scarce in Truckee, for-sale condos at the likely prices of the Aspens are almost nonexistent, so the change could be of benefit to the affordable housing market.

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