A developer bullish on Lake Tahoe despite recent wildfires and a global pandemic has acquired another property, this one coming with lake frontage.
EKN Development Group, a real estate developer based in Newport Beach, Ca., announced just before Christmas that it purchased the Beesley Cottages on the California side of Lake Tahoe in Tahoe Vista. While a sign on the shuttered property writes “Beesley’s Cottages,” EKN Development in its press release writes it as “Beesley Cottages.”
The $18 million acquisition is primarily for the coveted 2.25 acres of land in which the old cabins sit. The previous owner of the property listed the 2.25 acres of land and roughly 10 cabins for sale amid the pandemic.
EKN plans to demolish the small cottages and replace them with a beach club that will complement the company’s future casino resort guests. EKN completed its $56.8 million acquisition of the Lake Tahoe Biltmore in October.
No Shore Thing
Though the Caldor Fire that threatened the Lake Tahoe region for two months in the fall of 2021 has since been contained, many are concerned regarding the future livability of the region. The Caldor Fire scorched 350 acres of the Sierra Nevada and charcoaled approximately 770 homes, but spared most of Lake Tahoe.
Environmentalists in the region have expressed worries that climate change is resulting in more wildfires. Such experts opine that warmer and drier air makes conditions ripe for more extreme wildfires.
Thom Porter, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, recently expressed a dire prediction.
Every acre can and will burn someday,” Porter declared of Lake Tahoe in August.
The lingering threat has caused some to exit the region. Others, however, have found a buying opportunity.
EKD Development plans to reimagine the Biltmore into a 120-room hotel and casino, plus an 80-condominium complex. The Biltmore is just steps from the California-Nevada border on the side that permits commercial casino gambling.
EKD says the Beesley Cottages will be transformed into a beach clubhouse and special events facility. A resort shuttle will transport guests to and from the beachfront site. The Biltmore property does not have lake frontage access. The cottages and Biltmore are roughly three air miles apart.
The EKN Development website lists just two fully completed properties — the 173-room Rochester Hotel Indigo in Minnesota and Hillgate Commercial Center in Denver. The Hillgate property’s flagship anchor is a Walmart.
EKN’s Lake Tahoe ambitions are the company’s first foray into gaming. EKN has $74.8 million now invested on the north shore. Ebbie Nakhjavani, EKN president & CEO, says the Tahoe project is a “once-in-a-lifetime” undertaking.
“We are very excited to be a part of this community,” Nakhjavani stated. “Our collaboration with local partners and stakeholders will include listening sessions and town hall meetings to continuously engage with members of the community. We want to ensure that there is a clear understanding of our vision, timelines, and what to expect as plans come to fruition”
Lake Tahoe’s North Shore is a small gaming market in the statewide gaming industry, which is the largest in the US. North Shore Lake Tahoe casinos have reported gross gaming revenue of just $26.5 million over the past 12 months.
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