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Local Lens – Positive Developments in Incline Village and Crystal Bay

December 7, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl

Anyone who has tried to build a home or a commercial property in our community knows how obstructive county and regional policies can be. The cost of construction is often insurmountable and has led to commercial properties in decline and a stagnating look to a Village we would like to appear quaint perhaps, but not antiquated. This is reason enough to applaud those developers who have made the investment of their money, as well as their time, to contribute to our economic vitality. I want to use this week’s Local Lens to call out recent developments that lead to a sustainable Incline Village and Crystal Bay.

Natural Grocers

It’s hard to miss the big hole of construction on Tahoe Blvd. across from Christmas Tree Village that will become Natural Grocers. They will work through the winter as much as they can, but it will probably not open until 2024.  Cruz Construction, a local company is doing the work. IVCBA is in touch with the developer and the Natural Grocers personnel. They are eager to engage with the community.

Waldorf Astoria Lake Tahoe

Revitalizing the Biltmore” just announced the branding and management agreement with Hilton for the resort being built in Crystal Bay next to Granite Place Condominiums.  It brings a luxury brand, Waldorf Astoria, and a reliable hotelier, Hilton, that will be able to see the project through and provide long-term employment to our year-round workforce. The developer EKN has worked hard to engage the community and keep us informed. Look for it to open in 2027.

Nine 47 Tahoe Condominiums

For a myriad of reasons, the corner of Southwood and Highway 28, the site of the old Stanley’s Restaurant and the gas station, the lot has been vacant for years. No merchant or restaurant has found a viable business opportunity at that location. Randy Fleisher, a local Incline resident, and his development group, Hamilton Realty Finance, are undergoing great expense to build a multi-family dwelling on that property. They still have some hurdles to jump through with Washoe County and TRPA. Let’s support this new development and use it as an opportunity to improve the control of traffic at that intersection as well as the walkability of our town. 

With the influx of new families, Incline has a shortage of housing at every income level, and the inability to build workforce housing needs to be addressed at the agency level. Don’t shoot the messenger, aka developers, because it’s infeasible to build workforce housing in Incline. The Washoe Tahoe Housing Partnership is moving, albeit slowly, with Washoe County and TRPA to ease these restrictions.

In addition to the restrictive and expensive building environment, concern about adequate support for a new business is often mentioned as a problem by potential businesses. We often hear about the shortage of workforce housing in running or starting a new business. We rarely hear about the difficulty of running a business in a small town in this era of Amazon.com and big box stores. THIS is a problem locals CAN address. Shop Local!

Raley’s Incline Center

Did you notice they improved their signage? It may seem minor, but it was likely expensive. It updates the look of our major shopping area. Merrill has improved the look of the Bank of America building. Watch for a new restaurant, Rosewood, I believe the name is, in the building with Dickson Realty.

Mountain Hardware and Sports

We have a new reason to “shop local” …the new ownership of Ace Hardware has led to an expansion into the old Pet Station space. It is open already! It is full of clothing, sporting, and household goods that are hard to find in Incline Village. 

Grocery Outlet

Yes, the rumors are true. Village Center owner Greg Hoff is in negotiation with Grocery Outlet to fill the Village Market space. Although the ink is not dry on the deal, IPM/Larry Wodarski has been directed to make much-needed structural improvements. Village Center and its post office hub used to be the place “where neighbors meet and locals shop”. It needs that anchor business, a market, to reinvigorate it. 

Benefits of these developments to our community:

  • Employment for locals with the creation of new jobs
  • Investment in our commercial areas strengthens our local economy
  • Developments often lead to infrastructure and other improvements in town
  • Revitalization maintains the value of our homes

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