Doubling Downtown |

Doubling Downtown

Sierra Sun file artAn early design sketch of a building in the Railyard Development, which would extend Truckee's downtown eastward. New plans and designs could be released on the downtown Truckee development within the next few weeks.

Downtown Truckee could start growing east as early as next year with the first phase of the Railyard development.

The 62-acre parcel formerly housed a lumber mill, and is the current site of the Union Pacific railroad’s “balloon track,” a loop of track used to allow snow-plow trains to turn around.

Now, Holliday Development and the Town of Truckee are planning a development that would extend and significantly expand Truckee’s downtown core. The project includes both commercial and residential components, notably the addition of a theater and a hotel on the eastern end of Commercial Row.

Molly Maybrun, the development director for Holliday Development, said the firm would build the hotel first if the Town of Truckee approves the project, with construction starting as early as next spring.

The president of Holliday Development, Rick Holliday, said current plans for the hotel call for three stories and 52 rooms. He said a hotel in the wine country town of Healdsburg was a fair approximation of how the Railyard hotel would fit into Truckee.

“Hotel Healdsburg is a good representation of some of the thinking on size,” Holliday said. “Healdsburg is a different town, but in terms of scale, that hotel is a close representation.”

Following that, the firm plans to make the next block to the east a theater district, Holliday said.

“We are still sorting out the theater’s location within the block and things like if it will be four, five, or six screens,” Holliday said. “We’ll probably have a community workshop or two on that.”

While the theater block may catch up in planning to the hotel, Holliday said the best-case scenario for beginning construction is spring 2009, taking 12 to 18 months to complete.

Holliday said the development team currently is working with town staff to complete the project’s master plan, with hopes of getting a document ready for public viewing within the next few weeks.

After that, he said he hopes to complete a draft Environmental Impact Report, which examines a project’s potential impacts to the environment and community, as soon as November or December.

Completing the plans meant entering into a new contract with RRM Design Group, said town Associate Planner Denyelle Nishimori.

“Our previous contract of $92,000 with LSA has been all spent and got us a draft, but we realized we needed a lot more work, so with their principal moving to RRM this $30,000 agreement should take us through all the way to adoption,” Nishimori said.

Further phases will divide the development into three characteristic areas ” the downtown extension, which will include the hotel and theater blocks, a warehouse district, and a Trout Creek neighborhood, according to the last iteration of the plan presented to the town.

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