Park Avenue Redevelopment

South Lake Tahoe, California


Selected Projects

Visit the Portfolio to load projects


Park Avenue provides a national model of redevelopment which restores the natural environment, provides economic vitality and creates an instrument for positive community focus. Rapidly built and unplanned development in the 1950s and 1960s had degraded the environment and scenic assets of South Lake Tahoe, with the state declaring the city a blighted area in 1984. In 1992, Design Workshop was commissioned to lead a team of consultants to develop a master plan for the Park Avenue Redevelopment Area. The final product is a dense pedestrian-oriented base village that provides direct access to recreation, entertainment, shopping, lodging and skiing.

  • A complex negotiation between 27 property owners secured a plan that carefully considered the economic, community and environmental future of South Lake Tahoe.
  • To improve and protect the water quality of Lake Tahoe, the highest and clearest lake in the world, a series of Best Management Practices included creation of man-made wetlands at the lake’s edge that filter and purify approximately 1,000 pounds of existing contaminants annually.
  • No fertilizer is utilized because all plant material is native to the region and has adapted to local soils.
  • Over 100 mature conifer trees were preserved.
  • An imposed height limit caused previous development to spread out and prevent space for setbacks and wide sidewalks. The team illustrated how allowing taller buildings, moved back from the highway, could preserve and enhance views to the mountains and lake by creating specific view corridors and framing the landscape more artfully.
  • To meet pressing community needs and diversify the social fabric, the project set aside 20 percent of all units for affordable housing.

Performance information here.

  • Bullet points.



2010 Honor Award in Planning, ASLA Colorado