Truckee Tahoe Airport awaits bids for Clear Capital building |

Truckee Tahoe Airport awaits bids for Clear Capital building

Margaret Moran
Truckee Tahoe Airport board vice president Lisa Wallace, left, and president John Jones listen Tuesday to the latest information regarding a potential deal to build a campus for Clear Capital.
Margaret Moran / Sierra Sun |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Tahoe Airport District is moving forward in the effort to maintain a local presence for Clear Capital.

At a special Tuesday meeting, the Truckee Tahoe Airport District board unanimously approved issuing a request for proposals for a potential 10,000-square-foot, one-story metal office building for the company.

Bids are due Jan. 27, said district general manager Kevin Smith.

“(It) does not obligate the airport to do anything,” he said. “It’s just (to) solicit contractors for a building if we choose to go that direction.”

The latest project cost estimate is $3.2 million, an expense that would be covered up front by airport district reserves.

“We’re not building a free building for anyone,” Smith said at the meeting. “The airport district is acting essentially as a developer and is going to build a building and lease it at market conditions, essentially looking at what everyone else is charging in the community and charging a similar rate.”

According to a market study by Johnson-Perkins and Associates, it would be “appropriate” for the airport to charge between $1.25 to $1.35 per square foot a month for rent.

By charging $1.30, the airport district would recoup its investment in 20 years; at $1.45, it would take 18 years. Afterward, rent would be profit.

For 2015, the district’s projected leasing revenue is $1.82 million based on funds collected from hangars, warehouses and business leases.

“One of the nice things about this project is that the airport has for some time been aware that it needs to develop more self-sufficiency,” said director Tom Van Berkem. “It can’t necessarily rely on current sources of revenue, and we have to find new sources of revenue. … What’s sitting here right now is consistent with that goal.”

Board action on a lease is anticipated for the Feb. 25 meeting, Smith said.

In November 2014, 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.

On Tuesday, the company announced a $1.7 million office is being built in the Park Center Tower near Aces Ballpark. The company expects to bring 400 jobs to Reno, its new headquarters, over the next five years.

The remainder of Clear Capital’s current staff will continue to work out of its campus at 10875 Pioneer Trail in Truckee until the company’s lease expires in August 2016.

Marshall has repeatedly said he wants to maintain a Truckee office.

The proposed 10,000-square-foot building could support up to 130 jobs, according to the airport district.

“It’s kind of the last opportunity to save those jobs in the area,” said Van Berkem. “That’s the bottom line.”

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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