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Developers look for Mervyns replacement

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

Developers hope to fill Carson City’s former Mervyns building soon and are committed to keeping open Gottschalks despite problems with the store in Reno, city and store officials said Monday.

Retailers Kohl’s and Forever 21 passed over Carson City in a decision last week to move into 46 former Mervyns locations.

Kohl’s would have been a great fit for the city’s former Mervyns building, said City Economic Development Manager Joe McCarthy, but the store owner will not let the 60,700-square-foot building sit empty.

Owner Developers Diversified Realty, of Beachwood, Ohio, has a lot of connections with clothing, electronics and other retailers, McCarthy said.

The slow economy has hurt regional retail chains including Mervyns and Gottschalks, according to McCarthy.

“They’re hemorrhaging money,” he said.

Mervyns closed its 175 stores this fall and sales have dropped this year at Gottschalks, which was kicked off the New York Stock Exchange in October.

But Fresno, Calif.-based Gottschalks will stay at the Carson Mall despite the department store’s decision to leave its Reno location in January, company representative Leigh Parrish said.

The Carson City and Reno locations are Gottschalks’ only stores in Nevada. The planned closure of the Reno store has nothing to do with Carson City store, Parrish said.

Carson City’s newest department store, Burlington Coat Factory, opened in August. The largest big box building in the city, a former Kmart, has been empty for five years.

Developers Diversified Realty could not be reached for comment Monday.

The company did say in a statement that the Reno Gottschalks, on the site of the former Park Lane Mall, could re-open in the former Reno Mervyns building it owns.

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