bisnow featureOakland-based Holliday Development pioneered the urban, industrial-to-residential, mixed-use conversion in projects like The Clocktower in SoMa. Now, it’s embarking on a similar transformation in the Sierras, at the 35-acre Truckee Railyard.

The project is an incredible canvas to expand on Truckee’s historic downtown and a rare model for smart, infill development in a mountain town, Holliday’s Kevin Brown told us yesterday. (And you thought Truckee was just a place to fill up on the way to Tahoe.) Nearly 900k SF of development is coming, including 600 residential units (both for-sale and apartments), office space, the first movie theater screens in downtown Truckee, a boutique hotel, grocery, and more. The company has constructed one small mixed-use building—a two-story townhome over a cupcake bakery—as an example of modern downtown living and to show folks what’s to come.

kevin brownThe site is a former Union Pacific rail yard that Truckee officials have eyedfor years. (Now that there hasn’t been a gold rush in a 150 years.) Holliday bought the property from Union Pacific and then entered into a partnership with the town on a joint planning process to figure out downtown’s missing elements, capitalizing on the town’s potential as the gateway to Tahoe. Kevin says downtown Truckee contains very little housing stock. He expects the office space will appeal to a growing number of tech entrepreneurs who love mountain life. The development is fully entitled and applying to various federal, state, and local sources of infrastructure funding.

downtownTruckee Railyard is a classic example of Holliday’s playbook—identifying long-time property owners with vacant or underutilized industrial and retail sites, strategically looking at ways to reposition them through adaptive reuse. The company built some of the West Coast’s first live/work lofts 30 years ago at The Clocktower, a former printing plant converted into a 127-unit community. More recently, the company just sold out its 163-unit Pacific Cannery Lofts in West Oakland. Kevin, shown with huge iron wheels salvaged from the project’s industrial heritage, knows the Cannery Lofts project well—he lives there. In his spare time, he does Iron Man triathlons, most recently one in Whistler, BC.