Pieces coming together for portion of hole near Stateline to be filled in this summer


By Kathryn Reed

Stateline Ventures – that’s the name of the company that will be building the next phase of the convention center project.

Bill Owens of Owens Financial foreclosed on the remaining parcels May 9 and formed the new company. It is not known who the other partners in that company are.

Owens Financial has title to the bulk of the properties on the nearly 11-acre site near the state line that at one time was to be a convention center, two hotels, retail and open space.

The building permits from the city and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency expire in July if nothing is done. That is a big reason Owens wants to proceed this summer with something. That something is retail that would go along Highway 50 and a much larger McP’s restaurant than what exists today.

Guests at Harveys may have something other than concrete and rebar to look at later this summer. Photo/LTN file

Guests at Harveys may have something other than concrete and rebar to look at later this summer. Photo/LTN file

The footprint cannot change, nor the main intent of the buildings. But it can be built in more phases than were originally planned for, which is what is being proposed. The type of lodging in terms of it being timeshares, condos, fractional ownership or traditional hotel would be up to the developer.

City Manager Nancy Kerry said the design elements would be different because everything is not being built at once.

While South Lake Tahoe officials have yet to sign off on any work to be done on the infamous hole near Stateline, a lighting designer sent out a press release last month stating they have started work on the project.

“We’re thrilled to have commenced work on Phase II of the Chateau at the Village project, working in partnership with Lee Harris, owner of Light + Space of Reno,” Jim Sultan, senior lighting designer and project manager of Studio Lux, said in the April 24 press release. “Phase II encompasses the completion of the underground parking garage, construction of the shells of retail spaces and the signature restaurant McP’s Pub, and outdoor public spaces and walkways alongside Stateline Avenue and Highway 50.”

Kerry this week told the council that staff received a detailed letter last week from Owens’ people regarding what is planned for the six parcels. Staff as of Tuesday was still going through the documents.

The Studio Lux press release says, “The lighting design will incorporate cutting edge lamp and optical technology to illuminate the project’s facades, walkways and public spaces, featuring LED light sources that exceed current lighting and California LEED compliances. Chateau at the Village will weave lighting within its timber frame and stone construction to artfully accent the project’s striking facades while providing a continuous illumination for pedestrian walkways. Architectural and decorative lighting will also play a key role in Phase III of the project, consisting of vacation-share condominiums, a restaurant with two bars and a hotel with a grand lobby that evokes the style of traditional ski lodges.”

Before any of that happens, the Planning Commission must give its approval. The commissioners’ regular meeting was Thursday. It’s likely a special meeting will be called for May 23. If the applicant can’t make that date, it would have to be in June based on the commissioners’ availability.

The City Council has said it wants to sign off on everything involving this project. June 11 is the only date that group is planning to meet next month. A special meeting could be called just for this project.

It is not a slam-dunk that the council will say yes. A road that used to go through what is now rebar and concrete still belongs to the city so that has to be abandoned. Had the former developer, who went bankrupt, consolidated the parcels as is customary in these types of projects, that road would not be an issue today. There could be other items the council will need to approve even though permits are in hand.

And at that June meeting the city will likely be without in-house legal counsel because the current attorney will have left, the new one doesn’t start until July and the second in charge is likely to be on leave.


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Comments (27)
  1. Biggerpicture says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    If Randy Lane or Lew Feldman have ANYTHING to do with this the city should NOT give it the nod of approval.

  2. Ryan Ayne says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    The permits expire in July, so the developers are attempting a last minute push for the city to approve their piecemeal project…?

    I hope the city council the planning department remember the phrase “your lack of planning is not my emergency”

    The people have lived with the HOLE for nearly SIX YEARS as a result of their haste and negligence.

    Let’s not make the same mistakes of the past. Do what is right for the long-term health of city of South Lake Tahoe… build a world class, green OUTDOOR EVENT CENTER in the HOLE.

    It is the right thing to do. LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN PEOPLE!

    If these developers were smart and our city council actually looked in to the issue seriously, they’d all see that an OUTDOOR EVENT CENTER in Lake Tahoe would not lack funding. In fact, the money would come pouring in to this region from Hollywood and the extreme sporting entertainment industry.

    Anyway, that’s my 2cents. What do YOU think?

  3. Atomic says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    Sounds like the second in charge attorney is going to have to change their plans. The city cannot be without legal counsel during that time .

    Okay so Hal, do we have a performance bond this time?

    Have all the parcels been consolidated under one APN this time?

    Lots of questions, only a few here.

  4. reza says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    Only an idiot would allow 6 retail parcels to be built here without any firm plans, timelines, and finances for the rest of the “hole”. As important, there needs to be a firm “what if plan” with penalties if there are any failures on the developers part.

    If council allows this to go forward in order to make the expiring permits without the above they will have truly reached a new depth of incompetence.

  5. FULL TIME says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    Build it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Much better than what is there now.

  6. Irish Wahini says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    I agree – SLT cannot be without a City Attorney during this period of time. Hopefully, the 2nd in charge can change his/her leave – and maybe the new one could start earlier. This definitely needs legal oversight, because City Council & Planning Commissioners are not attorney(s) – and hopefully, we won’t be short-sighted again!

    Maybe an outdoor pavilion could be a temporary fix where the lodging structures would eventually go. I still don’t think a “convention center” is appropriate for SLT, and we already have lots of unused large meeting rooms and ballrooms, etc. Good luck to Mr. Owens and his investors!

  7. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 10, 2013


    I’m with you!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I’m wishing Mr. Owens, et al, great success.

  8. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    I was optimistic about construction beginning at “the hole” this summer. My optimism is melting faster than the snow on the surrounding peaks.
    Owens and company got off to a shaky start. Paperwork not properly filled out and hence returned for a do over. Now we won’t have a city atorney to look at this redone paperwork. The second attorney in command is leaving town at this crucial time? Randy Lane who went bankrupt on this venture the first go round is being called in as an advisor to the new developer?
    I hope all the kinks in this plan get ironed out and it’s smooth sailng for all concerned.
    Like many others who’ve written in to LTN, I’d much rather see an outdoor amphitheater with a small park. Much more pleasing to the eye and more community friendly. If designed properly, a place for outdoor entertainment could be another gem like Lakeview Commons, (I still hate that name). Hoping for the best one way or another. Old Long Skiis

  9. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    For those who don’t know, the second in command in the City Attorney’s office is going out on leave to give birth to her first child. This leave is not to take a vacation elsewhere.

  10. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    OLSkiis— Your vision for that land is admirable but unrealistic.
    If you owned it and wanted a return on your investment, what would your plan be?
    I’d love to see something like that but unless it was city owened and supported by your taxes it isn’t feasible.

  11. MTT says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    All this article makes me think about is that I should drive over to South Shore to visit McP’s I like McP’s

    Talk about toughing it out in a bad situation

  12. nature bats last says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    If the name Randy Lane or Lew Feldman is anywhere attatched to this project the city better get off their arses and have the money in hand before they sink our city for any more losses due to their corruption and negligance. What about performance bonds and plans and not being rushed to sign on the dotted line. this could be a calamity. the city better make a better choice than they did last time. Wow…

  13. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    4-mer-usmc & tahoeadvocate,
    I didn’t know the attorney was taking time off to give birth. Thanks for informing me. I just hope the city can find an attorney in the interim with some expertise in the area of development of a commercial complex and have the ability to work with all the agencies involved, the city , planning commission, TRPA and all the rest. Just a short time gig for a temp. law firm but I think it would be wise of the city to have everything looked at VERY closely.
    As far as the feasibility of “The South Lake Tahoe Amphitheater”, return on investment would not be as much as a string of retail shops. But don’t we have enough of those right across the street? With good promotion and good music, plays and comedy productions it could turn a profit. How about “Shakespeare at Stateline”?? Plus I believe the construction costs would be less for the developer by bringing outdoor entertainment to that location.
    I can dream can’t I? Old Long Skiis

  14. DRDEVI says - Posted: May 10, 2013


  15. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    The city needs to stand firm and not agree to anything just because the owner has not done their job of getting new city approval before the permits expire.

    It might be that the permit could be extended a few mnonths until the entire city council is in agreement with the plan.

    This is not the same project as was approved in the beginning so I’m surprised the origninal permits even apply.

  16. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    OLSkiis–Keep the dreams coming. Just don’t become disillusioned when Randy Lane, Lew Feldman and BIG MONEY wake us up by slapping their reality in our faces.

  17. Buck says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    Is there going to be a city parking garage on this project so we can lose another $200,000 a year?

  18. Garry Bowen says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    Although I empathize somewhat with Mr. Owens dilemma (also ‘caveat emptor’ in being a part of this mess in the first place). . . the most obvious yet still oblivious) answer is to extend the permits, if the “ticking clock” is to become the “gun-at-our-head” in proceeding with any half-baked (i.e., half-used property) project; if the money is secured, as was NOT the case in the first instance, then it will also be secure when a judicious look is done. . . readily available.

    Unfortunately in this society it is a common ploy (along with all the ploys that came about the first time around) to use up all allotted time to get something that is not completely ‘kosher’ (i.e., under the radar). . .

    That need not be the case with a simple extension of the “paperwork”, which is of course much cheaper than engaging construction deadlines, ordering up significant amounts of materials, committing to lots of contractual obligations, etc., etc., etc. – but what do I know (?) – I only spent a significant amount of career time doing ‘fast-track’ building for the likes of Gensler (30 offices worldwide) and recently got Lake Tahoe’s LEED Platinum TERC building recognized as one of “The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise vs Performance in Sustainable Design” – something all these proceedings don’t know much about. . .

    The common element to these comments is in “not leaving money-on-the-table”, one of the motivations for their haste, but sometimes backfiring (as it did earlier) – but alternatively, one of the better motivations for building green in the first place – with extraordinary benefits for the environmental concerns so prevalent here, with a quicker R.O.I. and considerably less O & M over the life of the project. . .something not to be taken lightly if there is a serious commitment and not just an attempt to merely ‘turn-over’ the project and bail. . .

    A show of secured leases might also extricate the monetary concerns as well, depending on the legal advice to proceed Mr. Owens is receiving. . .”if there’s time to do it over, then there should be time to do it right”, an ‘old saw’ in this culture. . .

    Not to mention the most seminal of all: “measure twice, cut once”. . .

  19. C.Dub says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    @ Ryan Ayne, YES! I’m on board for that vision! It would be nice if SLT finally got with the times versus always being at least ten years behind!

  20. John says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    Lets use Old Long Skis as an example. OLS, hey bro, we decided that the community would really benefit from using your rental home as guest quarters for athlete high altitude training up here. Hey, I know, ya got a mortgage, and bills; but that’s just your greed talking. Just think how awesome it will be if we can use your property any way we want to.

    Get it?

  21. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    John, I’m just offering alternative ideas for that location as opposed to another strip mall / shopping center.
    I’m a generous landlord and am glad to share. No greed talking from me! I’ve had lots of people stay for free at my places.
    Got it? Old Long Skiis

  22. Parker says - Posted: May 10, 2013

    Yep, I can picture it now-everyone on the Council will just sit up there and say, “Well this plan is far from perfect, but we have to do something before the permit expires.”

    Actually, I don’t mean picture it. I mean, I’ll bet on the fact they’ll use such flawed logic to justify ramming this thru!

  23. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 11, 2013

    A reminder, three Councilmember seats will be up for grabs in 2014: Davis’, Laine’s, and Swanson’s. Now is the time for individuals that are unhappy with the decisions of this City Council to start positioning themselves for a run at those seats, to convince the voters to elect you, and then implement your ideas for which you will have all the accompanying responsibility.

  24. Ryan Payne says - Posted: May 11, 2013

    An OUTDOOR EVENT CENTER would provide the largest return for investors AND the entire community.

    More retail or lodging does not and cannot diversify the SLT economy. WAKE UP!

    This project would create actual demand for our money pit of a parking garage and our under-utilized airport. Attract the Winter Olympics, maybe? Or world class acts and entertainment (something the casinos have been unable to do for quite some time!)

    Ponder on that one, power players of Tahoe. You all want the best returns on your investments, don’t you??? Then get behind this plan!

    Anyone care to point out any flaws in the OUTDOOR EVENT CENTER idea??? (aside from resistance from the old guard and shortsighted!)

  25. John says - Posted: May 11, 2013

    Great Ryan, and where can we find your market analysis?

  26. PerryRObray says - Posted: May 11, 2013

    A supposed expert/in the know person stated, without the loop road and closing 50 at the Village/Casino corridor, there will be no financing. Wonder if there is a basis for that statement.

  27. Ryan Payne says - Posted: May 12, 2013

    Hey John, it’s called “impact investing” — investments that can spur social and environmental progress as well as earn profits

    FACT: A world class, green OUTDOOR EVENT CENTER at the HOLE in Stateline would redefine South Lake Tahoe and spur investment unlike any seen here since the casino boom days…

    …and there isn’t a market analysis survey that could prove that wrong.

    You want retail still? Do it along street level then…