Retailers ready projects in North Valleys

The addition of a new Super Walmart in North Valleys, along with another long-planned retail center, will boost retail offerings to the tens of thousands of residents north of Reno who have had to drive farther into town to shop.

Walmart will begin construction in the first quarter of 2011 on a 150,000-square-foot store, its sixth Super Walmart in the Truckee Meadows, says Delia Garcia, senior manager of public affairs and government relations.

The new store on Sky Vista Way will serve residents of North Valleys, Lemmon, Golden and Sun valleys, Stead, Red Rock, Cold Springs, and the California towns of Portola, Quincy, Graeagle, Herlong and Doyle.

The store also redraws service areas for Walmart shoppers in those communities, many of whom shop at the company's Northtowne Lane store for general merchandise, or its Seventh Street Supercenter in west Reno.

"In this part of Nevada, folks are underserved for groceries and general merchandise, and this gives Walmart an opportunity to serve customers closer to home and reach more customers," Garcia says.

The North Valley's Walmart, which has yet to go to bid, should be open by the end of 2011, Garcia adds. Walmart expects to employ about 300 full- and part-time workers at the store, and hiring will start about three months before the store opens.

Jobseekers can apply online at job-center kiosks at existing Walmart locations.

In addition to the 16.5-acre site being readied for Walmart, an investment group is preparing three acres of addition retail space in the area, says Kelly Bland, senior vice president of the retail properties group with NAI Alliance.

Depending on interest, the space could be developed into individual pads or line-shop space, Bland says. The high-volume traffic generated by Walmart makes a perfect fit for mid-size anchor tenants such as Kohl's, Ross, or Office Depot, he adds.

"The dynamic is changing. Walmart is a wider draw than the immediate neighborhoods, and any type of tenant that will be there will be very well received," Bland says. "Walmart will be able to draw more people into that center than the other three (centers in the area) are attracting right now."

Despite high vacancy rates throughout submarkets in Reno and Sparks, Bland says retailers and residents have been clamoring for additional shopping choices in the North Valleys for a long time.

"Walmart has been looking at North Valleys for several years, and we finally were able to work out a deal with them that made sense for everybody. They have been wanting to open up out there for a while now."

After more than two years of delay, construction of the 33,000-square-foot Three Flags Center between Lemmon and Golden valleys also is expected to break ground next week, says Brendan Egan, co-owner of 6 Development with partner Jack Dolan.

The development company already has leases signed with Dollar Tree, Big-O Tires and an independently branded sports bar, and 6 Development is in final negotiations with a national fast-food franchise.

The Three Flags Center will open to 100 percent occupancy a rarity for any retail center in northern Nevada.

"On a brand-new project that is pretty good," Egan says. "That speaks to the quality of the North Valleys. The tenants we are dealing with have wanted to be in that area for two years now and think it is a great location. It has been an underserved market for a long time."

Ken Mattison, vice president with the retail division of Grubb & Ellis NCG, says the North Valleys will experience the region's next big explosion of new housing similar to that in Spanish Springs/Sparks in the early part of the decade.

There are 12,000 houses mapped for construction in the greater North Valley's area, Mattison says. The current population is about 40,000.

"It's only been two years since you could get your oil changed there," Mattison says.

"There is no major clothery, no family restaurant. There are huge needs up there. Vacancy is very slim in North Valleys, and the reason is that demand is good."

Dennis Banks Construction is readying two other sites in the area, one at the corners of Silver Lake Boulevard and Red Rock Road, the other at North Hills Boulevard and Golden Valley Road.

Each site will be prepped for approximately 10,000 to 14,000 square feet of retail development. Grubb and Ellis will handle leasing at the sites.


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