One store opens ... as another leaves

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Kathi Diehl stocks pillows in the home decor section of Burlington Coat Factory on Wednesday.

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Kathi Diehl stocks pillows in the home decor section of Burlington Coat Factory on Wednesday.

Burlington Coat Factory will open later this month in Carson City as another nearby department store, Mervyns, closes after 25 years in business - leaving the city with one empty big box store even as it fills another.

The new 70,000-square-foot Burlington store that will sell the discounted name-brand clothes and home accessories available in its nearly 400 other stores is scheduled to open Aug. 29. The Mervyns company announced Wednesday that the Carson City store would close along with three others in Northern Nevada.

The new store comes at a "critical time," said Mayor Marv Teixeira, because of the loss of business and about 100 jobs at Mervyns.

Burlington will hire about 60 people, but that comes only after the city approved a $2 million incentive to developers last year to bring in the department store to fill the 4209 S. Carson St. building that had been empty since Wal-Mart moved out in 2002.

The city also approved a $2 million tax-rebate incentive for the developer, City Management Services of Bellevue, Wash., to bring in Sportsman's Warehouse next to the Burlington Coat Factory. Sportsman's Warehouse is scheduled to open in early 2009.

The overall effect on nearby businesses such as Locals Barbecue will be good, said store owner Ralph Swagler, because Burlington will get a lot of new customers Mervyns wasn't getting.

"Burlington will have a good honeymoon," he said.

Richard Finn, owner of Finucci's Grand Central Pizza & Pasta, said he's happy Burlington will bring more customers to the area during a slow economy.

"People are struggling. I'm struggling. It's tough times," he said.

The city also hopes that Burlington will help its slow sales tax revenue by bringing at least $300,000 in sales taxes a year.

More than a third of the city's general fund revenue comes from sales taxes.

Bruce Robertson, a broker with Sperry Van Ness Gold Dust Commercial Associates, said Burlington will be great for the city and the 60,000-square-foot Mervyns store should be easier to fill than the former Wal-Mart building, which is about double that size.

The owners of the Mervyns building, Beachwood, Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty, could not be reached for comment, but Robertson said the building would be great for retail, possibly another clothing store.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.


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