Work on Wal-Mart under way | RecordCourier.com

Work on Wal-Mart under way

by Jeff Munson Staff Writer

Nine months after announcing plans to relocate to Douglas County, Wal-Mart has begun preliminary work at the site, with plans to open in August 2002.

Earth-clearing work and demolition of buildings began two weeks ago, with 10 percent of the initial work finished, said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amy Hill.

“We have started construction, and hope to take possession of the building sometime in the summer,” Hill said.

In February, the company announced it will leave its Carson City store and move to Douglas County.

The company is expected to bring more than $1 million annually in sales tax revenues to Douglas County.

Wal-Mart wanted to add a grocery store to its Carson City store, but was restricted because of a lease agreement with owners of the shopping center.

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A 224,000 square-foot “supercenter” planned for Douglas County will feature a grocery store and various service-oriented businesses both inside and outside the center, Hill said.

The 24-hour operation will be similar in size and scope to a supercenter that opened last month in Reno, she said.

That store has 224,000 square feet of floor space and employs more than 400 people.

With the move, Hill said Wal-Mart will bring an additional 200 jobs to Douglas County in addition to the 200-plus employees from its Carson City store.

Douglas County has also begun filling its part of the agreement, with construction work now centered on the extension of Topsy Lane and preliminary water and sewer line work, said County Manager Dan Holler.

Other improvements slated for the area include the extension of Vista Grande Boulevard, leading north from Jacks Valley Road. Additional traffic signals and road-widening are also planned.

The site, located west of Highway 395, was occupied by a fitness center and warehouses. Demolition of the buildings started two weeks ago, with the site work about a quarter finished.

Hill said once the ground work is finished, construction of the building will take about nine months.

The area encompasses much of the county’s planned new growth. A land swap is planned with the Bureau of Land Management for property east of the Wal-Mart site.

Holler said the county has received many inquiries over the 440 acres to be traded for development planned for the area.

An auction of some of the property could happened at the first of the year, he said.

“It’s now in the BLM’s hands,” Holler said.

Much of the property surrounding the Wal-Mart site is owned by Edgar “Red” Roberts, who sold the company 35 acres for the store site. The reported sale was for $3.5 million.

Wal-Mart will continue to operate its Carson City store until the new Douglas County store opens, Hill said.

There have been “many inquiries” about the current Wal-Mart site, Hill said and the company is confident it can find a tenant for the building.

Carson City officials hoped to lure Wal-Mart away from Douglas County by offering the company Fuji Park for its Supercenter.

Hill said Wal-Mart is interested in opening a future Carson City store in the northern part of the city, which would service target areas in Dayton and Silver Springs.

n Staff writer Jeff Munson can be reached at munson@swiftnews.com