More housing vacant in Truckee than Nevada County, state of California |

More housing vacant in Truckee than Nevada County, state of California

TRUCKEE — With 304 residential units under construction, the town of Truckee’s vacancy rate is currently 50.8% for its 13,401 housing units.

That’s in comparison to a 7.4% vacancy rate for the state and a 21.1% vacancy rate for all of Nevada County.

Those numbers and more were discussed by the Truckee Town Council after it received an update from staff on development within the community.

“There’s a lot of concern we hear about growth — concerns from a lot of people who have been here a long time, concerns about losing our small town flavor,” said Councilman David Tirman.

“The real challenge for us going forward, and looking forward and looking at all these projects, is how we manage that growth.”— David TirmanTruckee Town Council member

“The real challenge for us going forward, and looking forward and looking at all these projects, is how we manage that growth,” he added. “It has to be done in a very measured, careful, thoughtful way. I feel like with our general plan process that we’re on … we’re on a path to helping ensure growth is managed.”


The California Department of Finance estimated the town had a population of 16,136 in 2019, and, based off town records, there were 13,401 housing units. This year town staff estimates the population will grow to 16,242, along with 13,485 housing units.

Housing units under construction include the Boulders Condominiums Phase IV, which will provide an additional 43 units; Coburn Crossing, which still has landscaping and outdoor recreational amenities under construction, but had residents in 2019 under a temporary certificate of occupancy; the Spring Creek subdivision; Greenwood Planned Development Project at Sutter’s Trail; and Truckee Artists Lofts, the first approved project within the Railyard Master Plan Area in 2016; among others.

An additional 259 residential units have land use approvals, but have yet to start construction. Those include several projects at Old Greenwood, 68 multi-family residential units as part of Frishman Hollow II, 79 multi-family and single-family units as part of the Cold Stream Specific Plan in the Donner Lake area, and 49 units at The Village at Gray’s Crossing.

There are also a number of residential projects under consideration at this time, including the Jibboom Street Residential Project, which would consist of four-buildings and 83 units; Soaring Ranch Phase 2, which would include 61 market-rate residential units and eight affordable housing units; Truckee Springs, a proposal that includes options for 80 multi-family residential units and four single-family lots or 44 single-family residential units; and the Donner Lake 6, which is a six-unit, multi-family residential project on Donner Lake Road, behind Donner Pines West.

Of the town’s nonresidential projects, there were 19 under construction throughout the year, accounting for 273,149 square feet of work. Those projects included the new Raley’s, the Truckee Artist Lofts at the Railyard, Grocery Outlet, the Marriott Springhill Suites, which is the largest at 68,410 square feet, and several others.

There are also eight projects with non-residential floor space that have land use entitlements, including High Altitude Fitness, which recently broke ground on its 25,156-square-foot planned building; Old Trestle Restaurant on West River Street; the Railyard Theater, which will feature a 12,130-square-foot, three-screen movie theater and performing arts area; and The Village at Gray’s Crossing, which includes an 83,371-square-foot, 129-unit hotel with conference center and commercial space.

There are also six major partial or non-residential projects under consideration. Those projects are Hotel Avery, a 32,402-square-foot, 20-room hotel with a restaurant on the Truckee River on the northwest corner of Brockway Road and South River Street; the Jibboom Street Residential Project, which is a proposed four-building, 83-unit multi-family residential project that includes 500 square feet of commercial space; Railyard Market Square’s Station Building and Market Building, which are a proposed 50,000-square-foot mixed-use commercial building on the west side of the Railyard Master Plan area, and a 35,000-square-foot mixed-use building with a 20,000-square-foot grocery store and outdoor plaza on the east side of the Railyard Master Plan area; Soaring Ranch Phase 2, which included four buildings with 31,523 square feet of commercial space along with 69 residential units; and the Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company Redevelopment, which proposes to demolish the existing office and retail location, and redevelop over 20,000 square feet of non-residential space for retail, offices, and a restaurant.

In total, there are more than 1,000 licensed contractors in the Truckee and North Tahoe areas, according to Pat Davison, Truckee North Tahoe government affairs manager for the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe.

“The architects and the banks — are the banks seeing loan applications come in like normal?” said Davison on moving forward through the outbreak of COVID-19. “We’ll probably all look back at COVID and say, ‘Remember when, because the way it’s changed the way we’ve done things.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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