Railyard development plans are chugging along | SierraSun.com

Railyard development plans are chugging along

Construction could begin on the first section of the railyard development in downtown Truckee as early as 2008.

The railyard site consists of 62 acres east of Commercial Row. Development of the site will involve several extensive projects, including re-routing Donner Pass Road, Glenshire Drive and Trout Creek, but they will be completed in phases rather than all at once.

The first phase, called the theater block, will be the on the western portion of the railyard site near downtown. It will include a movie theater, residential units, retail space and a boutique hotel, according the Truckee Railyard Draft Master Plan.

“It would be possible to begin phase one in the spring of 2008,” said David Griffith, redevelopment and housing coordinator for the Town of Truckee.

The first phase of development would include the realignment of Donner Pass Road, Griffith said.

Other phases will include a Trout Creek neighborhood, a “Warehouse Character area,” and a town square, said Darin Dinsmore, master planning consultant for the project.

“The idea is it’s not separate from downtown,” Dinsmore said. “It’s expanding on Commercial Row.”

Dinsmore said after the theater block, it has not been determined when or in what order the next phases would begin.

The developer is also cleaning contaminated soil on the site as the railyard development moves along.

“The western site is already clean enough; they did some cleanup already,” Griffith said. “They are now mitigating the contaminated soil east of phase one.”

Other capital improvement projects involved in the project include moving the balloon track, and subsequently realigning Glenshire Drive and Trout Creek out of the balloon track’s way.

“Capital improvements are one of the biggest cost impediments, but environmental mitigation is not as bad an impediment as expected,” Griffith said.

The elements will not have to be addressed in the first phase of the project, however, and will be dealt with as development on the site moves east, he said.

Because the site is targeted for revitalization, planning is partially funded by a $350,000 sustainable communities grant and loan program from the state, Griffith said. Additional funding will come from the town, which matched 45 percent of that grant, and approximately $100,000 from Holliday Development, the town’s partner in the railyard plan.

According to the Truckee Railyard Draft Master Plan, initial studies determined the town is losing a potential $1.4 million dollars a year of revenue and a potential $21 million in taxes in leaving the site undeveloped.

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