In Carson: Northgate Plaza hopes to rebound

A north side shopping center that recently lost two longtime anchor stores is chasing new businesses and hopes to soon get back the customers it's lost.

Northgate Plaza, a 101,000-square-foot, six-building center, saw Northgate Movies 10 leave last week after more than 25 years and, in December, watched the Harley-Davidson dealership that had been there since 1998 move to a new building.

But Bob Fleischer, who manages Northgate for Los Angeles-based Standard Management Company, said he has signed a national retailer for half of the former Harley-Davidson store and is negotiating with another for the other half.

He said he couldn't release names yet.

Standard Management also is talking with other theater chains about another theater for the former 22,000-square-foot Northgate Movies, Fleischer said, but the building could also be remodeled for retail shops.

"It looks tough," he said of the situation at Northgate. "But we're optimistic."

The city will help the company fill the old buildings as quickly as possible, said Joe McCarthy, city economic development manager, because "Northgate is extremely important to the commercial vitality of that area."

A shopping center near Northgate at corner the of Carson Street and College Parkway has the city's largest empty building, formerly Kmart that closed in 2003.

But it's easier to fill Northgate's smaller buildings than a big-box store, McCarthy said, and the open space is a good opportunity for the owners to bring in great businesses.

The Northgate stores also didn't leave because of a bad location. Harley-Davidson wanted a building custom-built for their product, and the theater was forced to eventually close after the large, all-digital Galaxy Fandango Theatre opened in Carson this summer.

Northgate Movies became a dollar theater in October, but according to an e-mail by theater representative Heather Wright, "unfortunately, the discount policy was unsuccessful in Carson City."

The loss of the two stores hasn't necessarily hurt other businesses in the plaza, however.

Sub Factory, for instance, relies a lot on customers from a beauty college and government offices in the plaza, said employee Matthew Lyon, and the restaurant has seen business increase recently.

Dollar Tree manager Jason Justinich said his customers already know the store as a place for good deals and "so far, nothing seems to have changed."


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