Chateau Project Nears Completion in South Lake Tahoe - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Chateau Project Nears Completion in South Lake Tahoe

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A South Lake Tahoe plot of land that has become known as "The Hole in the Ground" is seeing progress, again. After several years, a fence has been removed from the front of The Chateau Project, where work continues on more than 30,000 square feet of retail space. The $15 million project faces South Lake Tahoe Boulevard, just across the state line from Harvey's.

"We're excited that people are going to be able to wander around in that area," JoAnn Conner, South Lake Tahoe City Councilmember said. "There's going to be a restaurant and some retail shops in there."

"Most of the retail shops are rented except, I think, two," Tom Davis, South Lake Tahoe City Councilmember said. "And they're negotiating with two potential operators on the restaurant, right now."

The property's original developer went bankrupt during the recession, leaving a vacant concrete footprint for a convention center and hotel space.

"Back in 2007 and 2008, things got stopped because of the economy," Davis said. "So, we're excited as heck to finally see some progress here."

Owens Financial bought the property and has plans to finish the 1.5 acre, $400 million project that includes hotel and condo units, retail, spa and meeting space.

"The rest of the project is a priority for us around the city," Davis said. "The economy's getting better. Hopefully, we can attract one or two developers to complete the project."

The property is designed to keep Lake Tahoe's traditional look, using logs and stone for the exterior.

"We wanted to make sure, this time, it was done correctly and that nobody was disappointed," Conner said. "So, now we have these beautiful retail buildings that are for rent."   

The Chateau Project is something neighboring businesses say will benefit the whole area, both visually and economically. Michael Booker is the Assistant Manager at The North Face, across the street from the new building. He says the vacant property had been an eye sore, and that new shops will help the community.

"The more foot traffic we can get, the better," Booker said. "So, the more stores that are over there, the bigger variety, the more people."

Those extra people are expected to help increase tax revenue for South Lake Tahoe.

"It's going to be really good for the city, good for the tourists, good for the businesses," Conner said. "It's a win-win.   

The main reason the fencing came down is so that crews can have room to start building the sidewalks and working on the landscaping. Heating coils are being installed underneath the sidewalks.  Hot water will pump through the tubes and prevent ice from forming on the sidewalks, during the winter. The project should be open by June.

Written by Paul Nelson
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