$250-million Tahoe Transformation Aims to Boost Economy and Environment

$250-million Tahoe Transformation Aims to Boost Economy and Environment

Design Workshop Inc.

A dynamic new mixed-use redevelopment, the largest reinvestment in the Tahoe community to date, is opening for business this month, transforming the city of South Lake Tahoe into a destination ski resort, while resolving serious environmental problems.

Ten years in the planning and construction, the $250 million Park Avenue Marriott complex consists of the Timber Lodge time-share hotel, the Marriott Grand Residence Club and 125,000 square feet of retail shops, including Wolfgang Puck, Patagonia and Century 21 Tahoe Paradise. The second phase of the project, opening next spring, will add an intermodal transit center, a municipal ice rink, an eight-screen cinema and a 425-car parking structure.

The goal of the public-private partnership behind the project was to create a viable economic engine for the community and solve problems caused by unplanned development and environmentally harmful practices.

Urban design and landscape architecture firm Design Workshop is among the original stakeholders, along with Heavenly Ski Area, land-use attorney Lew Feldman, the City of South Lake Tahoe and others. In master planning the site, Design Workshop worked to mitigate severe water-quality problems, to fashion an architectural style drawn from local alpine lodge styles and to create architectural massing standards that preserve views, as well as designing the gondola, the streetscape and five public plazas, two with spas.

Following serious environmental degradation in the 1950s, federal legislation and lawsuits resulted in an array of restrictions that effectively choked off development for several decades. In the 1990s, local officials recognized the pressing economic need to develop the area and put together the partnership behind this project.

Among innovations that exceed the strict environmental regulations protecting Lake Tahoe are several in which Design Workshop took an instrumental role, including: filtration of runoff to intercept 1,000 pounds of contaminants annually; creation of a new transit center and direct access to the Heavenly gondola to reduce auto trips and pollution; formulation of sustainable building design standards to conserve energy and other natural resources; careful sculpting of building massing to preserve vistas, and preservation of over 100 existing conifer trees and new plantings of native species to conserve water and reduce the amount of fertilizer used.

Founded in 1969, Design Workshop practices sustainable design and planning on sites ranging from urban infill and community development projects to brownfield redevelopment and resorts. The firm has received more than 70 national awards for design and planning. For images, go to: ftp://dwiftp2:[email protected]/PApress/

Related Link: Design Workshop FTP site

For more information contact:

Val Moses
Design Workshop Inc.
1390 Lawrence St., 2nd floor
CO 80204

Phone: (720) 479-6164
Fax: (303) 623-2260
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.designworkshop.com

Posted November 5, 2002

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