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Jibboom Street revitalization begins

Erich Sommer, Sierra Sun

As two land owners coordinate development on the west end of Jibboom Street, town officials hope that spirit of cooperation will spread to all of Commercial Row.

The owners of the parcels, David Giacomini and Stefanie Olivieri, have agreed to work together in development of their properties in hopes of best utilizing what little open space remains on Jibboom Street.

And, it’s a partnership that town officials would like to to see more often.

“We are trying to create dense retail and office opportunities and a dense downtown area,” said Town Associate Planner Gavin Ball. Ball said cooperation among business owners in the Commercial Row area will accomplish just that.

The planning between Giacomini and Olivieri will result in shared pedestrian access, snow storage, landscaping and, most importantly, parking space.

“We know we have a shortfall of parking, and as we add buildings downtown, we will need more,” said Ball.

Recently, Olivieri took the idea of cooperation one step beyond the business plan and helped in relocating the tenants of the old “tin can” house that were displaced by the rehabilitation.

“We made very certain each person was relocated,” she said.

“One family moved into a house I bought on High Street, and another family was moved into a house on East River Street, which I also own.”

Olivieri said the third family that lived in the tin can found accommodations on their own.

“Two (of the three) families had lived there from 13 to 15 years,” Olivieri said, “and I just acquired the house last year.”

Giacomini, who owns Sierra Mountain Mortgage, located directly across from the parcel now under construction, said he will move his business into the Victorian-style office building that will replace Dot’s Place, the old building demolished in December that was reportedly Truckee’s last historic brothel.

“We are going to occupy the first floor, and rent out the second floor office space,” he said.

Olivieri owns several properties on or near Commercial Row, including the parcel west of Giacomini’s. She said she plans to develop the old “tin can” house currently on the property into storefront retail space, offices and a single residential dwelling on the second floor.

Despite the coordinated development and the fact that both of the old buildings are being demolished, the owners did have to obtain different permits.

Giacomini had to obtain a demolition permit for Dot’s Place, and Olivieri a rehabilitation permit for the tin can.

Ball said the different permits were required because Giacomini’s building will bear “very little resemblance” to the old building.

Olivieri’s, on the other hand, is “an historically accurate reconstruction, involving rehabilitation,” Ball said. “It’s truly rehabilitation.”

“I have a demolition permit to rehabilitate,” Olivieri joked. “It’s a replication, but the Town calls it a rehabilitation. But we will be replicating it inch by inch.”

Olivieri said she hopes her project will set a precedent for how replicating older buildings with new materials can satisfy development, housing and historic goals.

“I think every development should have a housing component,” she said, explaining the second floor residential unit.

Excavation and construction of a retaining wall for the parking lot started last month.


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