California firm purchases empty Wal Mart building

A San Luis Obispo, Calif., company purchased south Carson City's empty Wal-Mart building for $4.3 million, according to Carson City Recorder Alan Glover.

John King of King Ventures could not be reached for comment, and local officials could not name a tenant for the building, vacant since the retail giant moved its store to north Douglas County in August 2002.

"This will be a boon, not just for the shopping center but whole community," said Shelly Aldean, a Carson City supervisor and executive director of Glenbrook Co. "Having two large vacancies in Carson City (Wal-Mart and Kmart) cast a pall over entire market. When the building is occupied by national tenants, it will give Realtors another reason to look at Carson City."

"This is yet another sign that Carson City's economy is not as moribund as some thought," said Larry Osborne, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. "We knew it would sell, and now we're looking forward to having a new tenant."

Over the last 30 years, King Ventures has developed new and historical restoration projects and residential and commercial office properties.

The company Web site lists commercial enterprises along the Central California coast, including a 192,000-square-foot office and manufacturing development in Santa Barbara; a 70,000-square-foot winery and visitor center in Corbett Canyon near San Luis Obispo; and a 1 million-square-foot professional office building, Ross Stores World Headquarters, in the Bay area.

In recent years, the company has focused on development-related projects like hotel resort properties, as well as vacation club/timeshare ownership, according to the Web site.

Wal-Mart decided to move its Carson City store after failing to negotiate an agreement with Raley's which would have allowed it to expand to sell groceries.

Wal-Mart left behind a 119,000-square-foot building. In Douglas County, it generates an estimated $1 million in sales taxes -- roughly 2.5 percent of Carson City's $40 million, sales-tax dependent budget.


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