by Sheila Gardner

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December 7, 2012
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Tractor supply company woos Minden

Plans for a 20,000-square-foot tractor supply store and retail area were presented Wednesday to the Minden Town Board, which hailed the project at the long-neglected site at the entrance to the town.

"All of you are probably tired of looking at the eyesore all these years," said developer Jim Todd. "We're here to help."

Todd, of California Gold Development, presented plans for the Tractor Supply Co. store, a national retail farm and ranch store franchise, at the intersection of highways 395 and 88.

With the exception of Holiday Inn Express and Maverik gas station, the 11-acre site has been given over to weeds and trash since developers abandoned plans for a "lifestyle center" after the economic downturn of 2008.

Original plans called for a grocery store, restaurant, pharmacy and retail space. The Minden Gateway project was approved for 195,000 square feet of commercial floor space in 2007.

The Holiday Inn Express, underground utilities and parking were the only things completed before the center filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Todd said Wednesday that Tractor Supply Co. would be one of the first in Nevada. The company was founded in Minot, N.D., in 1938 as a mail order catalog business offering tractor parts to farmers.

According to the company's web site, stores supply products to support "the rural lifestyle, from welders and generators to animal care products and men and women's workwear."

The web site says customers can buy "everything except tractors."

Inventory includes pet supplies, animal feed, power tools, riding mowers, lawn and garden products.

"We believe this will be a terrific fit in the community," Todd said. "We have goods and services for the rural residential lifestyle, for folks with small ranchettes, and who own horses and livestock."

Acknowledging the "entangled issues" of the site, Todd said the company was working with owners of the under-construction Maverik gas station and the Holiday Inn Express.

Owner Jesse Dhami and general manager Debra Lang addressed the board regarding their concerns about traffic flow and parking at the Holiday Inn Express.

The two entities met last month which resulted in a compromise design increasing the width of the drive lane and the vacant space between the two properties.

Lang raised questions Wednesday about the number of delivery trucks for the tractor supply store and landscaping complementary to the other tenants.

Jeremy Hutchings, whose clients include the Holiday Inn and the tractor store, said the new business would generate less traffic than the grocery store which originally was proposed for the site.

He said sidewalks and a new crosswalk would enhance the safety factor for students who attend Douglas High School across Highway 88.

"We're cooperative," Todd said. "We are wanting to work with the rest of the center in everyone's collective interest. The tractor supply store is a destination type of use. It's not like a customer would go to Maverik to by gas and say, 'Hey. I need a water tank for my horse.'"

He said the company was working to address property lines.

"Anything we touch, we'll take responsibility for. We want to be good neighbors," Todd said.

"More than half the center is being developed in 12 months," Dhami said. "We need everybody's help so this area looks presentable - the dirt, weeds, neglect - taken care of. Right now is the time to work together to achieve what has not been done before."

Maverik is expected to open after the new year.

Board member Steve Thaler said he visited the Tractor Supply Co. in Sonora, Calif.

"I was very impressed. It appears to be high quality," Thaler said.

Todd said the company hoped to break ground by the middle of 2013.

"We're anxious to get started," he said.

Board member Matt Bernard recused himself from the presentation because he works for R.O. Anderson Engineering which represented the tractor supply company before the board.


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The Record Courier Updated Dec 7, 2012 07:52PM Published Dec 7, 2012 07:43PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.