Old Wal-Mart storefront may get new occupant

Just two months after Wal-Mart closed in Carson City and reopened in Douglas County, the empty building may have a buyer.

And the as-yet unidentified buyer may be a local company.

Wal-Mart officials confirmed Thursday they are working on deal that could put the property in escrow sometime next week.

"We are in the process of selling the building," Bob McAdam, Wal-Mart vice president of affairs, said from his corporate office in Bentonville, Ark. "We're excited the building is going to be put to another productive use."

He said Wal-Mart was not ready to release the name of the company until the sale closes.

According to the property manager, the buyer is local.

"I've been assured by the real estate company at Wal-Mart that the buyer is local folks who wish to remain unidentified until after the deal is closed," said Shelly Aldean, president of Glenbrook Co., which manages the shopping center.

Aldean said the 119,000-square-feet of retail space could be divided into three or four smaller retail spaces and that retailers already may be preparing to move in.

"I understand from a fairly reliable source that they've hit the ground running," she said. "I wish I knew more."

Rumors as to who might move in have been running rampant since Wal-Mart moved out. Borders Books, Bed Bath & Beyond, Circuit City, ShopKo, and Good Guys are among the retailer names that have circulated among the remaining tenants as potential buyers.

The space is contractually restricted from offering groceries that would compete with Raley's and it is unlikely that Wal-Mart would sell to a competing department-type store.

"I've heard so many rumors," Pet Supermarket Manager Susan Paul said. "I've heard that it's been sold but I haven't heard who the buyers are."

Mike Childers, the owner of General Nutrition Center, confirmed that everything's been secretive.

"We're just hanging out and waiting," he said.


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