Truckee's Downtown Railyard — Its Past, Present & FutureWhen thinking about the identity of a town, one tends to focus on its downtown area. Generally speaking, a town's 'downtown' is its cultural, civic, and commercial hub, playing a unique role in how the town develops both socially and economically. Truckee's downtown is no different. It not only showcases Truckee's unique character, but also acts as its center for commerce and economic vitality.
Over the past several decades Truckee has expanded outward, reaching nearly every corner of the town's boundaries. This 'sprawl' resulted in an overall growth, but neglected the downtown sector, ultimately making for a less populated urban center.
The railyard expansion was always 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 business, and an adhering to the town's distinct and historic culture. As luck would have it, these were the same mandates for redevelopment Holliday Development had implemented and because of this, progress could be made.
Over the past two decades Holliday has been at the helm of 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 St neighborhood, Holliday's track record of successful projects has acted as testament to their expertise in merging public and private entities in hopes of establishing live-work communities on otherwise unutilized land.
Fourteen years later, after Holliday and the Town of Truckee first started envisioning the railyard's expansion, ground finally broke in August of 2017 after much resiliency and determination. A "live, work and play" strategy would act as the foundational 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 new development.
Truckee's Downtown Railyard Project will be completed in 3 phases: roughly 600 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, establishing new workforce housing as well as a grocery store, hotel, restaurants, and retail shops.
This Phase  will prove to be the most developed portion of the project, meeting the Town's need for a mixed-use, dense, and walkable urban core. Phases 2 and 3 will follow and will offer a variety of additional housing, public parks, and increased access to the downtown hub via walkable paths and street extensions.
In its completed state, the railyard project vows to adhere to the culture and identity of Truckee's historic downtown, adding only more charm and authenticity to an already cherished community.