Courtyards and plazas planned for Kings Beach |

Courtyards and plazas planned for Kings Beach

A Sacramento-based developer is planning to convert three acres of aging properties in downtown Kings Beach into a mixed-use pedestrian village and a three-level parking garage.

The developer, S.K. Brown Investments, is working on a master plan that will include shops, restaurants, offices and residences, said the firm’s president, Steven K. Brown.

Brown was a full-time Tahoe resident more than 20 years ago, and still owns a home in the area.

S.K. Brown Investments purchased the property along Highway 28, Fox Street and Salmon Street for just over $5 million dollars last December.

The previous property owner, Michael Scheider, was arrested in a felony bankruptcy and fraud case and was forced to sell the stretch of property along Highway 28 in an auction last year. Brown was the sole bidder.

The property already has a mixed-use project approval for Schneider’s previous development plans, but Brown said he intends to expand beyond Schneider’s design.

Developers envision a pedestrian village, enhanced by plazas and courtyards, that would have a strong presence in Kings Beach’s commercial area, said Paul Walsh, an architect from the Roseville-based firm Williams and Padden that was hired by S.K. Brown to design the project.

Architects are also designing a three-level parking garage on the property that currently accomodates a trailer park off of Salmon Street, Walsh said.

“If you can imagine redevelopment on virtually that entire block, I think an enhancement like that could be an anchor for renewal in the entire community,” said Walter Auerbach of Auerbach Engineering, one of several companies working on the project.

Developers wished to revitalize Kings Beach in sync with the goals of Pathway 2007, a 20-year planning effort of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency that will renew environmental and development policies basin-wide, said Walsh.

Upon completion of the plans, an environmental questionaire will be submitted to Placer County this summer that will determine the level of environmental review the project requires, said Wyatt Ogilvy of Ogilvy Consulting, who is coordinating project development with government officials.

Once the environmental review process is under way, workshops will be held to receive public comment about the project, said Brown.

“The owner would like to get feedback from the general public and a confirmation that we’re on the right track,” Walsh said.

Since Brown’s acquisition of the property, no tenant has been displaced from their location. Once the project is complete, Brown said he will give the original tenants the opportunity to relocate in the new development.

Pending environmental review, construction is expected to start in May 2009, Ogilvy said.

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