Courtyard may have to wait for economic woes to unfurl

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Construction of a high-end shopping center on North Carson Street has been delayed while contractors wait for economic circumstances to improve.

The Courtyard, a planned one-acre shopping center north of Winnie Lane on Carson Street, will likely be put on hold for at least a year while the economy turns around, said John Anderson, owner of John Anderson Construction Inc.

"We're just putting it on the back burner because of 9-11," he said. "The whole basis for the project was a 60 percent occupancy rate. Our two biggest retailers pulled out."

The shopping center was projected for a fall opening, and would have featured two anchors that offer specialty products like gourmet food, high-end clothing, or flowers. Plans for the site include two long buildings with 12,000 square feet of retail in seven storefronts. A 40-space parking lot lies in between.

"Realistically, we think things will turn around within a year," Anderson said. "Things look good on the horizon."

Anderson and Reno Realtor Tom Jacobs have collaborated on the project as a means for supplementing a retail environment that is becoming increasingly inundated with "box" type stores such as Costco, Target, Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

"We just thought the timing was right," Jacobs said at the time. "We've been in the Carson City community for a long time and we felt like this was something that will help the north end grow."

The idea, Anderson said, is to make The Courtyard a destination for residents, not necessarily out-of-town passersby.

A complex of five 1900s-era buildings -- including the locally famous Bargain Barn -- was torn down in anticipation of the new center.

Jacobs, a Prudential Realtor, has owned the property for more than five years. Before the untimely death of his partner, Jacobs was half-owner of Myers Realty and has operated in Northern Nevada for 30 years.

Anderson and Jacobs have also sought redevelopment funding from the city as an incentive for the project, a plan Anderson said he feels is imperative to the future success of North Carson City development.

"Redevelopment funding would help this project; that's what it is there for," he said. "That needs to be part of the new redevelopment theory that the city is pursuing."


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