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Douglas could see shopping center near county line

by Christy Chalmers

A 223,000-square-foot store could be built just south of the Carson-Douglas line, but no one will say what might occupy it.

The Douglas County Community Development Department has approved the proposed design for a shopping center that would include a 223,901-square-foot store, a gas station and five smaller building pads.

The proposal covers 21.5 of 38 acres west of Highway 395 just south of the county line. The area is now occupied by Gross Circle and includes a fitness center and warehouses.

According to documents submitted to community development, the structures would be demolished in favor of the new shopping center. Because the land is already zoned for commercial use, no public hearings are needed, said Community Development Director Bob Nunes.

“They just need to bring us a building plan,” he said.

Nunes couldn’t name any prospective tenants for the complex.

“Until they tell us, we don’t know,” he said.

The land affected by the proposed shopping center is currently owned by Edgar “Red” Roberts and Capitol Courts Inc. Messages left for Roberts were not returned. Carson Turner, an engineer with the Las Vegas firm that submitted the design review application, said he could not comment on possible tenants.

Rumors have swirled for months that Wal-Mart is planning to relocate or build another store in Douglas County. Though county officials say the company has scouted several sites, they insisted they haven’t heard firm plans for a Douglas County store.

They’re also wary of discussing potential tenants, fearing any speculation could scare the firms away.

“You’ll probably know before we do,” said County Manager Dan Holler.

“There’s a lot of interest in that north county area,” said Commission Chairman Bernie Curtis. “If Wal-Mart is interested, then we’re interested too.”

If a shopping center is built, some new access roads will be required. Vista Grande Boulevard would be extended north from Jacks Valley Road and Topsy Lane would be rebuilt to serve the project. Nunes said county plans ultimately call for Vista Grande to extend to Old Clear Creek Road.

Even if Wal-Mart isn’t coming, the county is expecting many commercial enterprises to sprout in the corridor along Highway 395 between Jacks Valley Road and Highway 50.

“We’re hopeful we get a blend of box stores, restaurants and other businesses,” said Commissioner Don Miner. “We’re very optimistic.”