Dozens of workers in orange vests are pouring fresh concrete at the 11-acre site known as the convention center in the heart of South Lake’s casino district. They are bringing life back to a massive hole in the ground that has sat dormant for five years. It was a home for vandals, who hid behind plywood boards, gray pillars and rusty re-bar.
Jeff Cowan of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency says the new activity here is a big positive for the community. “We are really excited for something to get built there and for the healing process to get started for our community coming out of the economic downturn,” said Cowan.
In 2008, financing fell through, the project went bankrupt and new financing wasn’t found until 2012. This year the plywood boards lining the road that put pedestrians adjacent to traffic will be replaced by street-front retail, making it pedestrian-friendly instead of a pedestrian hazard. Eventually the project will include 700 underground parking spaces and a million square feet of hotel rooms and condos.