USFS, county discuss land |

USFS, county discuss land

by Christy Chalmers

Douglas County has its eye on a 28-acre piece of land owned by the U.S. Forest Service – and rumor has it Costco does, too.

The land is within the county’s North Valley Redevelopment Area, which is already home to the North Valley Plaza shopping center that will be anchored by Target and Home Depot stores once the center is built.

County leaders have formally declared an interest in acquiring the Forest Service land, and they will probably authorize staffers to begin discussions with the Forest Service on Thursday.

County Manager Dan Holler said there are two viable ways to get the land: Through a standard exchange, or through the federal Townsite Act, which allows direct acquisition.

A third option would be to obtain a special use permit from the Forest Service so commercial development and related activities could occur on the land, but Holler said both sides prefer the other plans.

The first step, either for an exchange or acquisition through the Townsite Act, is to appraise the land. After that happens, the county and Forest Service can decide which option to pursue.

Holler says the land’s primary appeal stems from its proximity to the North Valley Plaza project, but he acknowledged the possibility of a major retailer like Costco locating there adds urgency.

“It makes sense to develop this. It’s a logical extension of what we’re doing,” said Holler. “I think if you had it, you could have a major tenant in there.

“There’s nothing pending to bring them here,” he added. “I think they’re extremely interested in being here.”

So does County Commissioner Don Miner, who called talk of a Costco arrival “a pretty good rumor.”

“Their representatives have been in contact with the county,” he said. “Costco has expressed an interest in being on that side and we want them there. The county can benefit significantly if we are able to privatize the land and bring Costco to that center.”

Even if Costco doesn’t sign, the county wants the Forest Service land in private hands.

“The 28 acres would be an integral part of the retail center, if not for Costco, than for other tenants,” said Miner. “I think what we want to have happen is to have that entire area being privately held and be put back onto the tax rolls so that entire area could be a regional mall.”

Costco has been rumored as a possible tenant for the south Carson City-north Douglas County corridor for almost five years, but company officials have consistently denied their interest. If the company is interested, Douglas officials are confident their chances of landing the retailer have been strengthened by the construction of the North Valley Plaza and other improvements that are planned for the area.

Said County Commissioner Bernie Curtis: “I would hope they would consider Douglas County. It would be to their benefit as well as ours.”


Douglas County Commission meeting

Thursday, 1 p.m., old courthouse 1616 Eighth St., Minden