It's a large footprint to fill, but the owners of the old Kmart building at 3456 N. Carson St. may have found a buyer.
"It's currently in contract with a developer planning to put retail there," said Aiman Noursoultanova, vice president of CB Richard Ellis in Reno, commercial real estate brokerage. "It hasn't closed yet, but we expect to find out in the next two weeks whether this deal will close or not."
She declined to give the potential buyer's name. She said the company is based in Southern California. Plans for the old Kmart will be disclosed after the buyer closes the sale, Noursoultanova said.
"He is working with tenants that he's trying to secure for the location," she said.
Verizon Communications, bought the 169,000-square-foot building in 2004, after Kmart's corporate bankruptcy shuttered the building in 2003. Verizon has been looking for a tenant or tenants since it purchased the building.
Kevin Laverty, a Verizon spokesman, confirmed that an offer was made on the building, but declined to say by whom and for how much. Verizon is the building's sole owner.
In 1995, when Kmart Corp. began struggling, Verizon invested in 18 of the retail giant's stores, including the Carson City site. Verizon was one of several investors in Carson, Davies said. Kmart sold the store and then leased it back as a way to pull out cash and continue operating.
If this sale goes through, it will be good news to Carson City officials.
"Everyone is hopeful that Verizon eventually sells to an investor who will develop the property and put a tenant in there that will service our community," said Joe McCarthy, Carson City economic development and redevelopment manager. "We are underserved with apparel, furnishing and electronics."
McCarthy said the potential buyer probably won't close on the sale until tenants are secured. The building has been a hard building to lease or sell because of its large square footage.
"It's very difficult to find a new user because you'll have a difficult time fitting their footprint into someone else's footprint," he said. "But we have our fingers crossed that an interested investor would find some users for it."
McCarthy said developers are holding off on securing existing locations, such as the old Kmart, until more plans are released for the 50-acre North Carson Crossing Shopping Center and Douglas County's Riverwood development.
Tenants joining the new Wal-Mart at North Carson Crossing, at College Parkway and Hot Springs Road, have not been announced.
Riverwood, an AIG Baker project, is expected to include three major department stores, a wholesale club, a multiplex theater and several local and national retailers. Rumors have circulated that both Sears and J.C. Penney plan to locate in the center, but neither corporation will comment on future store locations.
McCarthy said the dam will break soon on Northern Nevada development.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.