HOMEWOOD — It’s an Endless Summer here on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, but I dug up a scoop for you that will generate some regional and ski resort press when the rest of the world finds out:
JMA Ventures, which owns the Homewood Mountain Ski Resort, has quietly bought the West Shore Cafe & Inn across the street in a multimillion-dollar deal, providing an upscale expansion, according to my sources. The sale — which closed today, according to one source — is being discussed by residents, real estate agents and restaurateurs, which is how I found out about it.
An announcement of the deal is expected later this month. A soft opening of the restaurant and inn is expected later this month as well.
The West Shore Cafe and Inn is one of the premier restaurants and inns on the lake, more upscale than the Sunnyside Lodge up the road on Hwy. 89. It will be a boom to Homewood Resort, providing “ski and stay” vacations for the first time and an upscale lakefront restaurant. JMA already has a master plan in the works to expand Homewood. The details of its master plan, under regulatory review, are here.
The restaurant had been closed since last fall, so reopening it will pump some needed economic vitality into the West Shore. There are a lot of homes up for sale around here. There’s also a good chance that next year’s AMGEN bike race will pass in front of Homewood and the West Shore Cafe & Inn as it loops around Lake Tahoe.
I’m a long-time fan of JMA, which is based in San Francisco. They are thoughtful developers, with projects ranging from Ghirardelli Square to Alpine Meadows. JMA, you may recall, once owned the land where Nevada City-based Grass Valley Group is located. Another local angle: Sperry Van Ness, Highland Commercial, of Nevada City, is a listing agent for the Harborside Villa home development adjacent to the West Shore Cafe that also is up for sale. Lock Richards’ listing is here.
As I reported exclusively last September, the West Shore Cafe, Homewood Marina and Harborside Villa homes and an adjacent lakefront home all were quietly put on the market. Asking price then was $80 million — making it one of the biggest real estate offerings anywhere on the lake, ever.
But all or part of the properties — owned by Nate Topol — also were offered for sale separately.
In 1980 Topol bought the lakefront property where the old Homewood Hotel stood, the Homewood Marina Lodge, the Homewood High and Dry Marina, the Grubstake Lodge and other properties. He built the Topol Pavilion and scheduled a series of summer concerts. In 2006 Topol built “Villas at Harborside” (fractional-ownership residences) and completed the new West Shore Café & Inn.
The fractional-ownership units drew some opposition from neighbors, because they were the first on the West Shore — the last bastion of “old Tahoe” that is left on the lake.
Blogs are changing the face of news reporting in our region.
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