Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lowe's buys property for Vallejo store

Lowe's buys property for Vallejo store
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Posted: 09/25/2009

The probability of a Lowe's in Vallejo moved a giant step closer with the completed sale this week of property where the home improvement retailer plans to build a store, both city and store officials said Thursday.

Team Superstores owner Ken Ross, who had owned the property across from the dealership on Auto Mall Parkway, said a confidentiality agreement prevents him from disclosing the sale price.

The deal finalized Wednesday, Ross said.

"So, we're getting a Lowe's in Vallejo!" Ross said. "I'm excited. I think it's a huge win-win for the city, for me. They'll be a great neighbor."

The city's building department now awaits the submission of plans by the firm, Community Analyst Annette Taylor said.

"Those will then go to Contra Costa County for plan checking, and once the plans are approved, we should see a shovel in the ground," Taylor said.

Though no timeline for presenting the plans to the city is yet available, Lowe's spokeswoman Maureen Rich said the company plans to build a 103,000 square-foot store on the site.

"A store that size will create up to 120 jobs, and means a $12 million investment by Lowe's," she said.

While some Lowe's stores are 117,000 square feet, the size of the one being built in Vallejo is the one the firm uses "for a smaller market," Rich said.

Once construction begins, a Lowe's takes about nine months to build, she said.

"We look forward to opening our doors and serving the Vallejo community as soon as possible," Rich said.

The deal takes a lot of financial pressure off Ross, who describes the past year and a half or so in the auto business as "dicey."

"This alleviates a lot of extra debt load we were carrying, and pretty much secures our future," he said.

Contact staff writer Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824 or RachelZ@thnewsnet.com.