Truckee's Downtown Railyard — Its Past, Present & FutureWhen thinking about the identity of a town, the tendency is to focus on its downtown sector. Generally speaking, this is where one finds a concentration of cultural, civic, and commercial activity; all of which plays a unique role in how a town develops and maintains its social and economic livelihood. Truckee's downtown is no different: showcasing its unique character, while acting as a commercial hub.
Over the past several decades, Truckee has expanded outward, reaching nearly every corner of the town's boundary line. This sprawl resulted in overall growth, but neglected the downtown area; ultimately making for a less populated urban center.
The rail yard expansion had always been on the Town's agenda (even prior to it incorporating in 1993), but progress remained slow as a shared vision of local, long-term economic growth had first to be established between the Town and the developer.
It was critical that any expansion of Truckee's downtown include walkability, a diverse collection of small businesses, and an adherence to the town's distinct and historic background. As luck would have it, these were the same mandates Holliday Development had implemented, and because of this, progress could be made.
Over the past two decades, Holliday Development has spearheaded some of California's most challenging infill projects. From West Oakland's Pacific Cannery project to San Francisco's Mission Bay revitalization to Emeryville's award-winning Park Street neighborhood, Holliday's track record for successful developments acts as testament to their expertise in merging public and private entities; all to establish more cohesive live-work communities on otherwise unutilized land.
Fourteen years later—after Holliday and the Town of Truckee first envisioned the rail yard's expansion—ground finally broke in August of 2017; all predicated on both parties' resiliency and determination. A "live, work and play" strategy would act as the vision for the project, but it would be Truckee's rich history (one steeped in the logging and railroad industry) that would be most influential when it came to the look and feel of the development.
Truckee's Downtown Rail Yard project will be completed in three phases; culminating in roughly six hundred new housing units and a total expansion that will triple the size of the current downtown perimeter. Phase One will be finished by April 2021, and will consist of new work force housing, a new grocery store, hotel, several new restaurants, and retail.
Phase One will be the most developed portion of the project; meeting the town's need for a mixed-use, dense, and walkable urban core. Phases Two and Three will follow; offering a variety of additional housing and public parks, as well as increased access to the downtown hub, via walkable paths and street extensions.
In its completed state, the Downtown Rail Yard project promises to adhere to Truckee's distinct cultural identity, while retaining the authenticity of a deeply cherished history.