Old bank has big possibilities

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

The sale of a big 44-year-old bank sitting on over a half-acre of property could be a great opportunity for downtown Carson City, according to city and business officials.

The two-story Citibank building at the corner of Curry and Telegraph streets surrounded by restaurants, taverns and boutique shops in an area known as Telegraph Square will likely be sold when Wells Fargo takes over eight banks in Northern Nevada and California this fall under a deal announced in April.

Wells Fargo will not take over the building, however, because it has branches nearby. The accounts will simply be transferred.

Citibank still will have branches in Southern Nevada and other parts of California but will probably not use the building because it will have no branches in Northern Nevada.

The company will try to find the 10 to 15 employees at the branch jobs at Citibank or Wells Fargo or give them severance pay and put them in a job placement program, according to Rob Julavits, a Citibank representative.

Joe McCarthy, City Economic Development manager, said the Citibank property, which takes up an entire block, is a "wonderful opportunity" for redevelopment and could be turned into a center with a mix of uses including housing and retail.

Whatever it is used for, the white, blocky 18,000 square-foot bank branch built in the 1960s should be torn down, even it's used as a parking lot, said Larry Messina of Coldwell Banker Commercial Premier Brokers.

"It's out of place and kind of ugly," he said in a phone message.

The property would be a great place for retail stores, something that area needs more of, said Jolene Miley, who owns Cherokee Scents Candle Company next to Citibank.

The bank brings a lot of customers downtown and this year has been slow for business, she said.

"I'd hate to see it used as office space," she said. "We don't need more office space down here. We need more retail."

Kris Holt, director of the development group Nevada Business Connections, said he's showing the building to a San Francisco Bay-area mortgage company soon but there are a lot of possibilities for the property.

He said it would be great from anything from condos to a sales office.

"That's dreaming without even drinking a beer," he said.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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