Another developer looking at the county line |

Another developer looking at the county line

Sally J. Taylor, Appeal Staff Writer

A national retail developer is in escrow to purchase a site just south of the new Wal-Mart in Douglas County.

“We’re looking at sites from Sparks to Douglas County,” L. Jay Timon, developer for Burmingham, Ala.,-based AIG Baker, said from a cell phone while traveling near Truckee on business.

The 40-acre site just south of Carson City owned by the Ledbetter Trust, heirs to Harveys Casino founder Harvey Gross, is in escrow according to Kirk Ledbetter.

“It’s been on the market for a couple years,” said Ledbetter, Gross’s grandson.

The site, which has had three other companies looking at it, could be developed into 250,000 to 350,000 square feet of retail, he said.

“They haven’t closed on the property so nothing is confirmed,” Douglas County manager Dan Holler said. “(Developers) come to us and ask what are the county requirements, that’s when we really get involved.”

AIG Baker has developed shopping centers nationwide including one in Henderson, Nev., with 400,000 square feet of retail space. Two weeks ago, the company opened a center in Redwood, Calif. Tenants in other AIG Baker centers have included such retailers as Old Navy, Bed Bath and Beyond, TJ Maxx, Shoe Carnival, Party City and Ross.

Timons expects a better idea about AIG Baker’s plans for the area in November.

The new retail center in Douglas County would be its first venture into Northern Nevada.

“Nevada has a generally business friendly governmental entity as well as very consistent growth — 3 percent to 4 percent consistently for a decade or more,” Timon said of the company’s interest in the area. “And from an entitlement standpoint, its not nearly as onerous as California. It’s nice to go over to Northern Nevada where people are a little easier to deal with.”

In July, Wal-Mart opened a new supercenter in north Douglas County near the county line, following Costco, on the Carson City side of the county line, and Target and Home Depot farther south.

The area receives a lot of attention from developers, Holler said, because of its proximity in the middle of the area’s population plus the highway access for Lake Tahoe residents.