Owner of old Wal-Mart site: More money likely needed | NevadaAppeal.com

Owner of old Wal-Mart site: More money likely needed

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

The owner of the old South Carson Wal-Mart building is planning to add a large sporting goods store to the space, and the city’s redevelopment authority wants Carson City to help.

City Management Services, owner of the Carson Southgate plaza, will get the “highest-caliber tenant” without using city money if it can, but that might not be possible, said company owner Robert Rothe.

Burlington Coat Factory signed a letter of intent in July to move into about two-thirds of the 120,000-square-foot building. The new sporting goods store would take up the rest of the space, about 55,000 square feet.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors approved $2 million in redevelopment funds for Rothe’s company in August, saying the company needed to make structural improvements if Burlington Coat Factory was going to come to the city.

The company has a contract to pay the city back its redevelopment subsidy over 10 years using Burlington Coat Factory sales taxes. The store is scheduled to open by April.

While City Management Services declined to say with whom it is talking about the sporting goods store, City Redevelopment Manager Joe McCarthy, who proposed funding for Rothe’s company, said it is probably considering three or four high-quality businesses.

In his proposal, McCarthy said using redevelopment money for the store is a good investment because the city would eventually be able to collect $225,000 in sales taxes from it.

“This net sales tax capture will exceed the potential sales tax generated by any unsubsidized soft-goods retailer in an equal-sized store,” according to McCarthy’s proposal.

The sporting goods store would be great for the city, said Supervisor Pete Livermore, especially because it doesn’t have any large stores of the kind and needs something more for hunters and fishers.

The city, however, might not have money to give the project, he said.

Also, supervisors are considering another item for its Thursday meeting agenda that would give $200,000 to the Brewery Arts Center for a loan on which the nonprofit group defaulted.

And while the city did approve $2 million for Burlington Coat Factory, it turned down a proposal to give $500,000 to Dick Campagni for a new car dealership.

Rothe said if the sporting goods store needs the money, though, he trusts the city will get the store to town.

“The great thing about Carson City is that they’re very willing to invest in the community,” he said.

McCarthy agreed, writing that getting businesses into the “blighted building” is important.

The building, with the exception of a few short-lived stores, has been empty since Wal-Mart left in 2002. Max Baer Jr. bought the building in 2003 for $4.5 million to use for his Beverly Hillbillies casino, but sold it to Rothe in May for $8.5 million.

Baer is now planning to build the casino in North Douglas County, just south of Carson City.

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

At a glance

Robert Rothe, owner of the old South Carson Wal-Mart building, plans to add a large sporting goods store to the space not occupied by Burlington Coat Factory. He says he will get the “highest-caliber tenant” without using city money if he can, but that might not be possible.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Thursday

WHERE: Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St.

A copy of the agenda is at http://www.carson-city.nv.us. Go to the Board of Supervisors link under the City Government tab.

Other items on the agenda:

• A revised job description for the city manager addressing a “code of professional conduct.” Current City Manager Linda Ritter has a contract for the job through April 2009, but has been asking for feedback about her duties since Mayor Marv Teixeira tried to get her to resign in July.

• A July report that shows taxable sales are down since a year ago

• Considering to pay a $200,000 loan on which the Brewery Arts Center defaulted.

• An ordinance to limit the amount of space adult merchandise retailers have for adult video to 200 hundred feet or 5 to 10 percent of their store, whichever is less.

Other city meetings this week:

• Open Space Advisory Committee – 6 p.m. today. Among the items on the agenda is a prefabricated bridge for the Mexican Trail Ditch. The committee can be reached at 887-2363

• Parks and Recreation Commission – 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Among the items on the agenda is a proposal to loosen regulation on dogs in parks. The commission can be reached at 887-2363

• Airport Authority – 6 p.m. Wednesday. The authority can be reached at 887-1234.

Note: All meetings are in the Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St.