The Truckee Railyard Project is ready to whistle, “full steam ahead”. Following twenty years of planning, fine-tuning, and economic stalls, a community vision is finally coming to fruition.
The Town of Truckee and the Sierra Business Council [SBC] announced today that the California Strategic Growth Council has awarded an $8 million grant to the Truckee Railyard Partners. The grant will catalyze the development of 60 units of workforce housing at the Truckee Railyard site immediately adjacent to Truckee’s historic downtown as a part of the larger $100 million private sector revitalization plan for the site.
And it’s been a long time coming. As Truckee Town Manager, Tony Lashbrook, points out, “This funding will kick start infill development and smart growth adjacent to our historic downtown consistent with the vision that this community created 20 years ago as part of Truckee’s General Plan.”
It’s a big win for the mountain community as the Railyard is the only project in Northern California east of the Central Valley included in the grant awards. Aspects of the application that helped Town and SBC set the Railyard apart included increased workforce housing density adjacent to jobs, improved walkability, access to transit, and reduced greenhouse gasses. With increased demand for both housing in Truckee and responsible development, and a statewide housing shortage of more than 1 million units, this success shows that communities do not have to sacrifice environmental quality for new development.
SBC President, Steve Frisch, expressed the importance of the project earlier this week, stating, “The Truckee Railyard Project demonstrates we can do smart workforce housing and transportation projects in rural regions that create jobs and reduce climate impacts at the same time. Linking capital to projects like this that increase community vitality, economic opportunity, and improve the environment are core to the mission of Sierra Business Council and the Sierra Small Business Development Center.”
Rick Holliday, developer of the project, expects to break ground later this summer. “After 11 years of hard work, we are extremely pleased to get this development underway,” Holliday said. It will be a symbolic groundbreaking as well, with the spotlight on Truckee to show rural communities across the nation that smart growth and increased vitality will not be limited to our urban neighbors, they are happening right here in our exquisite mountain town.
Many Truckee residents are already picturing themselves laying their heads within walking distance to some of their favorite shops and restaurants, not to mention the Truckee River and Legacy Trail. Alexis Ollar, Executive Director of Mountain Area Preservation, said after hearing the news, “The creation of 60 affordable housing units in the heart of Historic Downtown Truckee is the exact type of infill and smart growth development needed to strengthen the local community. I have always dreamed of being able to walk or bike to work in downtown and this project will make that dream a possibility for the fabric of our community!”
More information on the Railyard Project can be found at www.truckeerailyard.com.