Bare ground near 395 not for specific project

The fact earth has been moved on two properties near Target and Home Depot along Highway 395 south of Carson City doesn't mean businesses have decided to build there.

Then again, commercial development could be coming to the properties.

Thousands of highway commuters saw earth-moving equipment at work there, but the owners say the work at the northwest corner of Jacks Valley Road and Highway 395 resulted from construction of the Target and Home Depot stores nearby.

Douglas County planning/economic development manager Mimi Moss said Carson City developer John Serpa, who owns both areas, was allowed to move the excess soil from the project south of the road onto his property on the north side. Moss said there are no proposals for the north property before Douglas County now.

That may change soon, though. Tuesday, Serpa said the most likely buyer would be a major corporation, which would probably want to announce a purchase itself.

"I may have something for you in 30 days," Serpa said.

Serpa makes no secret that he buys real estate to increase its value by developing it, then sell or lease it. Besides the bare ground at Jacks Valley Road, Serpa has several parcels around Target and Home Depot he hopes will be attractive to buyers because of those two new "big box" stores.

On the east side of Highway 395 next to Sunridge Drive, a 4.5-acre plot was cleared by owner Jim McGown of Carson City, who also owns McGown Excavation. He said he purchased the parcel as a possible home site.

Douglas County manager said the property is zoned residential, so McGown could put a home there and possibly a home-based business. Or he could apply for a zoning change if he wanted to use it for commercial purposes.

"I'm not really sure at this point," McGown said about plans for the parcel, which he has had for about a year. "We may build a house, or maybe sit on it unless the zoning changes. We don't really know."

McGown said that, other than the excavation permit he got before clearing the land, he does not have building permit application active for the property.


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