Village at Northstar close to its unveiling | SierraSun.com

Village at Northstar close to its unveiling

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunConstruction crews work on the ice rink planned for the village at Northstar.

It doesn’t take much imagination now to picture a bustling, pedestrian ski village at the base of the Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort.

What earlier this summer was a huge construction zone has morphed into a rough outline of the first phase of the extensive village that will greet skiers and riders this winter. If you look beyond the scaffolding and cranes, you can see what in a few short weeks will become an ice rink ringed by restaurants, shops and condos.

“It’s going to be unlike anything that Tahoe’s seen,” said Debbie Hoyer, manager of commercial leasing for Booth Creek, Northstar’s parent company.

The village’s first phase will be open by winter ” with shops such as North Face, Helly Hansen; and restaurants like Big Wave burritos and wraps, an Italian restaurant, and a Sushi eatery ” all coming into the village buildings through the early part of the winter.

“We offer a little bit of everything for everybody,” said Hoyer.

The three buildings in the first phase will have 100 condominiums, 60,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, a new ticketing area and an ice rink. Over two thirds of the commercial space in the village has already been leased, a mark that ski villages usually hit in their second ot third year, said Hoyer.

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The resort has tried to balance packing enough square footage to create a lively skier center ” the village will total 100,000 square feet of commercial space when complete ” while not departing from Northstar’s character, said Hoyer.

“We wanted to make sure it was true to what Northstar has been in the past ” which is a family resort,” said Hoyer.

A large sundeck overlooking the ice rink and a handful of fire pits will be parts of the village where skiers or visitors can sit and relax.

Northstar, and its development partner East West Partners, have designed and built the new village according to Leader in Energy and Environmental Design certified standards.

The complex, built to conserve energy and preserve the environment by using environmentally friendly materials, will be the nation’s first green village, said Northstar spokeswoman Nicole Klay.

Northstar officials believe the area will be popular with locals and tourists even in the summer and fall, Hoyer said.

The outdoor ice rink will be open year round, using synthetic ice during the summer, she said. And the village will act as a base for typical summer activities at the resort, like mountain biking and golfing.

As for the cranes and construction workers, they’ll have moved over to work on the second phase of the village by the time Northstar opens for skiing on November 19, said Hoyer.

“We’ll be open,” said Hoyer. “We’ll be ready for the season.”