Clear Capital, airport working on deal for Truckee campus |

Clear Capital, airport working on deal for Truckee campus

Margaret Moran
Kevin Smith, airport general manager.
File photo |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Efforts are under way to keep one of the largest employers in the Truckee-Tahoe region in the area.

Clear Capital and the Truckee Tahoe Airport District have signed a non-binding letter of intent on a potential 10,000-square-foot office building on a yet-to-be determined airport location.

In a 3-2 vote Wednesday night, the airport board approved signing the letter, meaning the district will work with the private Truckee company to negotiate a lease agreement.

“What I see personally … (is) a great opportunity to inflict really good positive change to this community,” said TTAD director Jim Morrison. “… I struggle to see the negative of keeping people in Truckee, creating jobs in Truckee that are good, professional jobs.”

Morrison, board president John Jones and director Tom Van Berken voted in favor, while vice president Lisa Wallace director and Mary Hetherington were against.

Wallace is concerned that by signing the letter, it is “a monetary signal” to move forward.

The airport district would own the building and cover construction costs, estimated at $2 million, with funding coming from district reserves, said general manager Kevin Smith.

As tenant, Clear Capital would pay rent at fair market value to the airport district. Under the letter, it’s anticipated the initial rent will be between $1.20 to $1.30 per square foot a month.

Based on 10,000 square feet, that’s $12,000 to $13,000 a month, or $144,000 to $156,000 annually.

According to the letter, the lease would begin upon building completion, planned for July 2016, extending for seven to 10 years, with two five-year extension opportunities.

The lease term and the potential result of vacancy once the lease expires are among Hetherington’s concerns.

Should Clear Capital not be able to move in by July 2016, the airport district would reimburse the company up to $50,000 a month for a maximum of $200,000 to cover holdover costs at its current location.

With Clear Capital’s lease at 10875 Pioneer Trail in Truckee expiring in August 2016, “time is tight for us to maintain our presence in Truckee,” Kevin Marshall, president of Clear Capital, said Wednesday.

“We all have to be moving really, really quick, and we’re all aligned with that,” he said.

Smith said a draft lease will need to go before the board at its January meeting, or at the latest, February.

“It’s an aggressive schedule,” he said. “If we can’t put something together by January, or the latest February, then there’s nothing here.”

If a final agreement can be developed, construction would need to start by summer 2015, Smith said.

The building would house roughly 100 employees, Marshall said.

Last month, Clear Capital — a nationwide provider of real estate valuations and analytics for the mortgage and lending industries — announced it would relocate about 125 employees from Truckee to a downtown Reno office in March 2015.

The remainder of Clear Capital’s staff ­— which fluctuates based on industry demand — could move into the Reno office if needed.

The location of the Reno office will be formally announced in early January 2015, Marshall said.

Marshall has repeatedly said in the past he would like to maintain a Truckee office.

“For Clear Capital, our focus is, ‘Can we continue to be a large employer in the community?’” he said Wednesday.

Since its inception in 2001, Clear Capital has operated out of Truckee and estimates contributing $150 million to the local economy.

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