ELKO— When Kmart closed, locals began speculating about replacement businesses. Some vied for Hobby Lobby while others dreamed of Harbor Freight. In the meantime, C-A-L Ranch moved into about half the space in September. They will soon be joined by one of the largest department stores in the United States, Kohl’s.
“Kohl’s will take the rest of the Kmart building,” said David Fonua, vice president of construction for Meridian Pacific.
The building is roughly 91,000 feet in size. C-A-L Ranch took about 50,000.
“We are heavily under construction on the shell of the building right now,” Fonua said. “Tenant improvement construction on the interior will start Nov. 11. We anticipate being able to open Kohl’s in late March. We think it will be great for Elko.”
Kohl’s first opened its doors in Wisconsin in 1962. According to “Fortune 500,” the company has more than 1,100 stores and employs nearly 82,000 people. In Elko Kohl’s will employee approximately 40 people, Fonua said.
According to Fonua, the company began working on the demolition process with Kohl’s in mind but the company did not actually sign a lease until very recently.
“That just goes to show (Meridian Pacific president) Gary Pinkston’s expertise,” Fonua said. “He’s been doing this a long time. It’s kind of that ‘sixth sense.’ If he feels good about it, we move forward. A lot of developers wouldn’t do that.”
The store will offer its full range of products that include clothing, housewares, makeup and other items.
“With the addition of Kohl’s we will have more businesses in the community contributing to the tax base,” said Elko Chamber of Commerce CEO Billie Crapo. “It will also boost employment. I love the option of having more shopping in the community so more people will stay and shop locally.”
According to Fonua, C-A-L Ranch has done very well since opening in their new location.
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Meridian Pacific sold its parcels near the Mountain City Highway Burger King. According to Fonua, Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts will be opening sometime in the near future. Dunkin’ Donuts will be partnered with Baskin-Robbins.
Meridian Pacific has property for lease near Ulta.
“We are in negotiations with a few different tenants,” Fonua said. “Hopefully, those leases will be signed soon and we can announce what’s going in there.”
Fonua said one of the businesses would be a restaurant.
“It’s not a fast food place,” Fonua said. “We hope to finish the design phase during the winter and have construction drawings submitted to the City of Elko by late January.”
Groundbreaking is planned for spring.
“We are always chasing the big national tenants,” Fonua said.
Fonua said Meridian Pacific representatives attend major real estate shopping conventions three to four times per year.
Meridian Pacific also owns commercial real estate near the dispatch center, next to Costa Vida.
“As gold and the market in Elko continue to grow so will commercial real estate,” Fonua said. “We are happy to be part of it.”