Lowes plans to open in Carson City
As Home Depot puts the final touches on its new Carson Valley store, Lowe’s Home Improvement Hardware is putting the final touches on plans for a store in Carson City.
On Wednesday, the Carson City Planning Commission unanimously approved a special use permit for a Lowe’s store, planned to replace the former Kmart/Ernst Hardware building at Fairview Drive and Roop Street.
Though Lowe’s now has that permit, the company is still in the process of making a deal for the property with Tsutomu “Tom” and Margarita Wakimoto, owners of the property on the east end of the Silver City Mall.
Lowe’s representatives had told Carson City Community Development Director Walt Sullivan they wanted to have the permit and a deal on the property completed by the company’s board of director’s meeting Jan. 31.
“We hope to have a deal very soon, but we’re not prepared to make an announcement yet,” a company representative said Wednesday.
Jack Mandel of Lowe’s real estate division said the company plans to have the Carson City store open by the end of the year. He said he is confident Lowe’s can resolve a few conditions placed on the special use permit and other concerns expressed by city staffers.
One condition is that Lowe’s find an alternative to its proposed 20-foot-tall black cyclone fence proposed to screen the Fairview Drive side and much of the Roop Street side. Planners had voiced concerns that the fence was not appropriate in a main commercial district and so close to arterial traffic.
Engineer Ebbie Nakhjavani of EKN Engineering said Lowe’s has addressed the same issue in other communities and resolved it through the use of other materials. “I don’t see any problem resolving that,” Nakhjavani said.
Vern Crohn of the city Parks and Recreation Department had suggested a driveway onto Roop Street at the project’s northeast corner could present a hazard because it across from the entry to the Governor’s Field recreation area.
Sullivan and Nakhjavani said that issue would be addressed in the required traffic study now being conducted by Solaegui Engineers of Reno. A solution would have to be approved by the planning staff during the building permit process.
In response to questions about possible noise complaints from late deliveries, Mandel said some Lowe’s are 24-hour stores but, even if the Carson store did eventually go to round-the-clock operation, most deliveries are received during the day.
“My biggest concern is – does anyone know where Los Tres Amigos will be relocated?” Commissioner Roger Sedway joked. That restaurant is one of several in Silver City Mall that would be ousted and their locations demolished. Only Office Depot, Sav-On, Ming’s Chinese Restaurant and Big Al’s Pizza would remain.
And one portion of the planning staff report said the space occupied by Sav-On will be reconfigured at some point, making more room for parking.
Sedway also asked whether the store would be called Lowe’s or Eagle Hardware. East coast-based Lowe’s bought Eagle Hardware last year and two Eagle stores operate in Washoe County.
Dan Wynn, also of Lowe’s real estate division, said the Eagles soon will be “co-branded” with signs saying “a division of Lowe’s.” Wynn said he suspects that, by the time the Carson store is open, the Eagle stores will have have converted to Lowe’s.