Though no actual ground was broken, the movers and shakers of the highly anticipated Truckee Artist Lofts gathered the evening of Aug. 23 to celebrate the forthcoming construction. Foundations for the workforce housing development are expected to go in before winter, once permitting is approved by the Town of Truckee.
The Artist Lofts are phase one of the Truckee Railyard project, with other construction soon to follow, including a grocery store and movie theater.
“I actually expected to be able to announce today our grocery [unit],” said Doug Wiele with Foothill Partners, a real estate partner. “We have one and we are this close to signing a lease. I expect that we will have the [grocery store area] under construction next year and open in spring of 2021. I will say this, although we cannot yet announce who our grocer is … it’s a specialty organic, community-based grocer and [we] couldn’t be happier.”
Melissa Siig, who co-owns Tahoe City’s Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema with her husband, had her theater proposal for the railyard project approved by the Truckee Town Council in March. Siig said she hopes the Truckee Art Haus will break ground in spring 2020, assuming “all goes well.”
The Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company expects to move its lumber yard also next spring to make way for The Mill, a mixed-use area under the railyard project umbrella.
Festivities for the housing project included a reverent nod to Ali Youssefi, the brain behind the artist-focused housing idea, who passed away in early 2018. Youssefi’s father, Cyrus Youssefi, is president of CFY Development Inc., one of the developers involved in the project.
At the event, Cyrus Youssefi shared excerpts from an email sent by his son in October 2017 to John Cicerone, president and owner of Egis Group Inc., another developing partner and future property management owner of the lofts:
“Truckee has an incredibly vibrant creative class that is at the risk of leaving the region given the housing crisis,” Ali Youssefi wrote. “By designing a community that has unique amenities for artists, we are not only giving them an affordable place to live in in the heart of Truckee, we are also creating a place that will allow them to collaborate with other artists and engage in culture and art-related programming both on site and in the larger community.”
Lead image caption: HATS OFF: Azzie Youssefi, center-right, is current CFY Development Inc. project manager for the Truckee Artist Lofts. Youssefi, here joined by other developers, project partners, and Town of Truckee representatives, stepped into the role after her husband, Ali, passed in 2018. Ali Youssefi created the idea of artist-focused workforce housing. Photo by Alex Hoeft/Moonshine Ink