Old Wal-Mart expecting new tenant: Burlington Coat Factory
Appeal Staff Writer
Burlington Coat Factory is expected to occupy a 70,000-square-foot portion of the old Wal-Mart building, which has sat vacant for five years.
“This would be great,” said Joy Hartman, owner of I Paint for Joy, a pottery-painting studio, also in the Southgate Shopping Center on South Carson Street.
The national retailer is expected to start operating in late February and hold a grand opening in March, said Joe McCarthy, the city’s redevelopment manager, during the Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday.
Southgate has only a few retail tenants on its east end right now, such as J.C. Penney Co. Inc., General Nutrition Center and I Paint For Joy.
Hartman and her husband, Rob, ran a pottery painting studio on Winnie Lane and moved to Southgate last summer.
“We been crossing our fingers,” anticipating an increase in foot traffic with the addition of new neighbors over time, she said.
“This will pave the way for other retailers to come to the center,” especially the empty spaces in between J.C. Penney and the old Wal-Mart, McCarthy said.
The old Wal-Mart building provides about 120,000 square feet, with the capacity to add roughly another 30,000 square feet by using a parcel next to Nevada State Bank.
A second tenant would be required to fill the remainder of the Wal-Mart space, McCarthy said.
Burlington Coat Factory sells an assortment of designer and name-brand apparel, and home products, at discounts of up to 60 percent compared to other well-known department stores. The Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp., its parent company, operates 379 stores in 44 states. Among them is a store in Reno on South Virginia Street.
The building housed Carson City’s Wal-Mart until 2002. Max Baer Jr. purchased it in 2003 to use as a site for a Beverly Hillbillies casino. He sold it in May to Carson Southgate LLC, and intends to set up the casino in North Douglas County.
Burlington representatives signed a letter of intent, an agreement to begin contract or lease negotiations, and have agreed on some points of the contract, such as rent and square footage, McCarthy said.
The building owner has agreed to refurbish the building inside and out, and make sure the heat, air conditioning and ventilation system is adequate for the tenant.
“The letter is a good start,” Hartman said. “But I’ll believe it when I see it.”
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.