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Year-round home show to fill spot left vacant by PetSmart
Northern Nevada Business Weekly
February 4, 2008

A Reno big-box location that’s stood dark for about two years is under redevelopment into a new type of retail in the area — a year-round home show.

A 38,000-square-foot building next to Costco at Airport Square, previously the home of a PetSmart store, is scheduled to reopen in August as Home & Garden Center Direct. The development is overseen by Steve Ploussard, who also works as president of Stone Center of Nevada in Reno.

Home & Garden Center Direct, Ploussard says, ultimately is expected to feature about 250 booths from home-and-garden retailers and contractors. They’ll rent booths ranging from 20 square feet to 250 square feet.

Booths will be unmanned, Ploussard says. Consumers will carry a magnetic-strip card embedded with their contact information and will swipe the card through a reader at any booth where they’d like more information or a follow-up call.

The slow real estate market provides an opening for the new concept, its founders say. On one hand, Ploussard says, subcontractors who were swamped with new construction two or three years ago now are hungry to tap into the remodeling market and are looking for ways to market themselves. Homeowners who don’t have the wherewithal to sell their homes and move up instead will be looking to remodel, he says.

And the softening market created an opening to lease the retail space at an attractive price. John Mulder of Premier Realty Inc., a specialist in finding new uses for darkened big boxes, represented Home & Garden Center Direct in the lease negotiations. Mulder also will represent the company as it looks to expand the concept into new markets including Las Vegas and California’s Contra Costa County.

The remodeling work is handled by 2K Construction of Reno, and the center was designed by Jeff Frame of Frame Architecture in Reno.