Demolition of half of the Silver State Mall to make room for a Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse will begin this week, possibly as early as today, according to a company spokesman.
Jack Mandel, a real estate specialist for Lowe's, said demolition would likely begin at the southeast end of the mall, the end farthest from Sav-On Drugs and Office Depot, which will remain in their present locations.
Chain link fencing has been installed around the eastern portion of the parking lot on Fairview Drive between Carson and Roop streets. The businesses that used to occupy the mall portion of the complex have closed their doors or relocated.
Lowe's expects to open its Carson City store in May 2001, Mandel said. Mandel, who shepherded the project through the acquisition and permitting process, said he's now turned it over to Lowe's construction division.
The site of the project was for years the home to Carson City's Kmart and Sears stores.
Kmart built a larger store in the early 1990s on North Carson Street that is the present Super Kmart. The Sears store was closed by the company and, in 1993, a franchisee-operated Sears opened on North Carson Street .
The former Kmart space was leased for an Ernst hardware store, which closed in 1996 as that chain went into bankruptcy and was liquidated.
The 135,000-square-foot Lowe's will include a 28,000-square-foot lawn and garden center, a drive-through loading area for customer's purchases and a screened area for unloading deliveries.
The shopping center's parking lot will gain 70 parking spaces for a total of 893 and the new spaces on the Lowe's end will be larger than average to accommodate the pickups and SUVs many customers are expected to bring when buying large home improvement materials.
When rumors of negotiations with former mall owners Tsutomu "Tom" and Margarita Wakimoto surfaced a year ago, the reputed buyer was the Eagle Hardware chain, which had opened two stores in Reno and Sparks. Neither Eagle nor the Wakimotos would acknowledged such discussions.
Eagle was purchased in late 1999 by Lowe's and the first official notice a sale was in the works was when Lowe's filed for special use permits in January 2000. At that time, Lowe's representatives told local officials the company wanted to have the purchase completed at the end of January and the store opened by the end of this year.
But the purchase was not a done deal until July, when Fadco LLC purchased the remainder of the Wakimotos' property at the mall. Fadco is an Alamo, Calif.,-based real estate development company that also bought the leases of many of the vacated Ernst stores during the bankruptcy liquidation.
Fadco president Don Gaube has said that the portion of the Silver City Mall that is home to Office Depot, Sav-On Drugs and Ming's Chinese Restaurant will be remodeled or upgraded.
The property that holds Big Al's Pizza was not owned by the Wakimotos and not part of the Fadco transaction. Sheila Ramsden of Dayton, who owns that lot and building, and business owner "Big Al" Rogers have a long-term lease agreement and have said they expect the restaurant to remain there.