The center at Kietzke and Peckham lanes was nearly dark two
years ago after Kmart moved out, leaving only Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts, King
Buffet and a service station at the high-profile center. Within about 90 days,
however, the center renamed Peckham Square should be vibrant again as Grocery
Outlet, Import Warehouse and Furniture Expo and Savers open new stores.
They’ll join Harbor Freight, which opened in the center in 2004,
and a spa and backyard retailer is soon to follow.
“Blowing life back into these boxes is a critical part of
keeping the southeast part of Reno alive,” says John Mulder of Premier Realty,
who brokered the center’s new leases. “The neighborhood is starting to pick back
While developers and property owners often shy away from
redevelopment projects, Mulder says the potential returns warrant a second look.
“They’re good profit centers if you look at them the right way,” he says.
The Kmart building, a concrete tilt-structure built in the early
1970s, is being divided into five retail spaces by general contractor Groves
Fischer Inc. of Sparks. The building’s depth — 210 feet — presented a challenge
as Mulder worked on leasing.
Retailers, he explains, usually want as much frontage as they
can get. They’re not interested in spaces that are deep. He resolved part of the
problem with a wraparound design on the building’s south end.
The 5,000-square-foot spa and backyard store will be tucked into
a corner, and an L shaped, 26,000-square-foot Savers store will wrap around it.
The tenant mix put together by Mulder is heavy on destination retailers — the
sort of stores that can stand on their own without relying on other traffic.
The Savers location, for instance, will be the second outpost in
the Truckee Meadows for the 200-store chain. It partners with nonprofits in the
region to buy and sell donated merchandise.
The company does best in locations where it can draw middle and
upper-income customers, says Robert Coron, its Assistant Director of Real
Estate, and Savers was looking for a lease in south Reno.
He described the company’s customers as “moms with kids.” “Our
stores are treasure hunts,” Coron says. “People go with the anticipation of
finding something they didn’t expect.” A similar motivation typically draws
shoppers to Grocery Outlet, another of the new stores in the center.
The grocer draws a middle to upper-income customer who likes the
thrill of the chase for bargains in close-out and manufacturers overstocks.
Import Warehouse and Furniture Expo likes the center’s high traffic counts —
120,000 vehicles a day on Highway 395 behind the center, 9,000 a day on Kietzke
Lane in the front — for its store selling imported furniture and electronics.
“It’s all location,” says owner Scott Reid, who also plans a café in the
The Jo-Ann Fabric and Harbor Freight stores, meanwhile, serve as
what Mulder calls toy stores for grownups that stand on their own as destination
retailers. He said the property owners also may build about 12,000 square feet of pad
space along the Peckham Lane side of the property.
Already, Mulder says, the renovation cost has reached $3.5
million, with another $500,000 or so expected before the project is completed
That work, he says, included a new roof, new wiring and new
plumbing along with interior remodeling and a new façade. At the same time that
he was leasing the Peckham Square space, Mulder was finding a new tenant for the former Premiere Home
Furnishings location at Kirman and Plumb. Resco Restaurant Equipment & Supply
Co. purchased and now occupies the space.
“I like filling in the black holes,” Mulder says.