Council approves Pioneer Commerce Center |

Council approves Pioneer Commerce Center

Pioneer Commerce Center was approved by Town Council May 17 following plan revisions on the last day of public review.

Ciro Mancuso, the developer, met with town staff and representatives of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, a local land use preservation group that initially opposed the project, to discuss the amount of mixed-use space and intrusion on the scenic corridor surrounding Interstate 80.

According to a memorandum from the town, the applicant and MAPF reached a compromise that resulted in reducing the maximum space for non-industrial uses, exclusive of the space for the six residential units, from approximately 80,000 square feet to 56,660 square feet. The number of parking spaces was also reduced.

The revised plans for the center, to be located off the Interstate 80 and Highway 89 North junction downtown, were not unanimously praised by members of Town Council despite their 5-0 vote to approve it.

Council member Josh Susman expressed feelings of failure in light of intentions described in the General Plan, which described the industrial space as a relocation site for businesses along the Truckee River that are out of compliance.

“Does it bring the hammer down on existing businesses on the river?” asked Susman, referring to Pioneer Commerce Center as a potential relocation site. “No … (but) they will go out of business. This is not going to solve the goals of the General Plan of getting industrial business away from the river.”

Council member Maia Schneider said she agreed with Susman’s comments, noting that with less mixed-use supply and the visually pleasing nature of the project, the demand and costs could increase, which could make the center unattainable for less affluent business owners near the river.

Tom Grossman, a local developer, suggested to the council that by accepting the revised plans they could be putting the developer in a precarious financial position.

The planner for the project, Robert Hayes, was not able to comment on the specific financial figures but added that “we know what our costs are. We don’t think there is a problem at this point.”

Mancuso also addressed the council’s concerns.

“We can’t accommodate a dirty user … (but) what we’ve designed is an economically flexible building … so it can flex with the needs of our tenant base.”

He reassured the council that the price for the space will be reasonable or below that of other areas.

The agreement would allow a maximum of 7,200 square feet for retail uses, a maximum of 6,500 square feet for a gym, a maximum of 2,500 square feet for a deli/restaurant, and reductions to the amount of office space.

In other news, Guy Coates read a proclamation noting National Historic Preservation Week, which was marked the week of May 13 to 19. The week was sponsored by the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce.

The council also directed Daniel P. Wilkins, the town engineer/public works director, to prepare a report for the council meeting on June 7 that would maintain parcel charges at their current level.

No public comment was heard over the parcel charge changes.

Council also set a budget workshop for June 26 at 5 p.m. at Town Hall. Town Council has scheduled approval of the budget for July 5.

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