A rosy preview for 2006 business

People plugged into development and economic growth in Carson City predict a bullish 2006, with retail clamoring to get into key locations and quality workers filtering into each sector.

But those are all crystal-ball hopes.

The optimistic predictions are shared by local builders, brokers and pundits. And they're not the only ones. Analysts from CNN to MarketWatch are ogling a fourth year of a bull market: cooling housing costs, possible increases in wages and stock market profits. High oil costs and the threat of increased interest rates are the threats to darken 2006.

"I think 2006 is going to be stronger or as strong as 2005," said Bruce Robertson, an associate with Sperry Van Ness/Gold Dust Commercial. "2005 was an excellent year for commercial real estate. There are a couple projects coming on line now and just beginning, such as additional retail in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Then there's the 23 acres to the east of the supercenter. That's in the planning stages for additional retail as well."

North Carson Crossing, east of the Wal-Mart, is owned by George Karadanis and Kent Witt, who could not be reached for comment. A sign erected on their 23.4 acres advertises the future location of an Office Depot.

Near the new Wal-Mart on East College Parkway, is the Irwin Union Financial Center. The first building, which will house the Irwin Union bank, will be completed in April, Robertson said. The second building, which will house Bayliss & Associates Certified Public Accountants, Wealth Strategies and a medical billing company, is under construction. Three other buildings in the financial center are scheduled to start construction in late January.

People are moving here, and so is their money.

"We're very bullish on Northern Nevada, which is why we opened up two new branches this last year, one in Reno and one in Minden to complement the one in Carson City," said Paul Stowell, senior vice president of Business Bank of Nevada. "Carson City is a prime example of what we feel Northern Nevada offers our bank and the economy. In six years the Carson City branch has become the fifth largest financial institute in the marketplace. It's soon to surpass $100 million in total deposits, and that's unprecedented when you think of the number of banks in that marketplace."

Tom Johnson, broker of record for Sperry Van Ness/Gold Dust Commercial, said the north side of the city will build out in 2006, in contrast to its idle days, because it's one of the few places where land is still available. It also has the influence of the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. Sectors on the south end will be put to a different use.

"In 2006, the big thing people should look for is new retail development along the freeway corridor at the intersections of all the ramps," Johnson said. "Any place that has land available, you'll see new retail going in at those spots."

Working on some of that commercial space is general contractor Mark Beauchamp, a co-owner of Shaheen Beauchamp Builders.

"We hope to be doing Bodine's in the new year," he said. "The (South Carson Street) casino will be 36,000 square feet and there's a 36,000-square-foot below-grade parking garage.

"We're doing some work at the Sierra Summit Shopping Center and that'll open in 2006. That will really be great for Northern Nevada."

Chuck Alvey, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, said a focus for them will be attracting the workers for all the business that has expanded or relocated to Northern Nevada. Directions 2006, an annual economic forum, will discuss that issue.

"The speakers for our half-day program up at the Reno Hilton are going to be talking about how to find, groom, hire and retain young, talented employees," Alvey said.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

For your information

Many analysts expect the economy, which grew by 4.2 percent last year and 4.1 percent in this year's third quarter, to slow next year, to between 3 and 3.5 percent.

Source: MarketWatch.com

The 14th annual Directions 2006, Northern Nevada's largest economic forum at the Reno Hilton on Jan. 25, will address national business trends and their impact on Northern Nevada business owners. More than 1,000 local business owners, senior level executives and anyone interested in the growth, development and sustainability of their business can attend. Co-hosted by EDAWN and the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce. For information, contact 829-3706 or ardito@edawn.org.


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