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Interest lingers in vacant buildings

When driving through the business district of Boulder City, quite often a question that comes to the mind of many is, ‘I wonder what’s going in there?’ when looking at vacant commercial buildings.

While unlike some communities, Boulder City has relatively few but at the same time, those that are vacant once housed businesses many were well aware of and frequented often.

Recently, Michael Mays, the city’s community development director, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce CEO Jill Rowland Lagan gave updates on several of these locations. With a few, there’s little update to be given or information is not yet been made public.

They include the following:

Former Vons

This former grocery store, which has seen a few different businesses within it since Vons closed its doors, is owned by Boulder City Investco, whose parent company is Albertsons/Safeway.

“We have not had a lot of inquiries at the city,” Mays said.

Both noted that mid-sized retail companies need certain traffic counts and population base before they will consider a community and right now those numbers are not high enough in Boulder City.

“We’d love to have another grocery store in the community,” Mays said. “We’ve heard from residents who have said that it’s a need.”

Rowland Lagan said with the opening of I-11 those traffic figures have decreased dramatically and that before it opened, Smith’s had shown some interest in building a grocery store at a different location in town. She also said she’s been told many times that retrofitting the Vons building would be cost-prohibitive and because of that, grocery stores would rather build from scratch.

“I think there’s still a couple of different sites that have been identified that could potentially be a great opportunity if we can get the right person that is willing to make the investment,” she said of a second grocery store in the future.

Dan Adamson, the real estate broker for the building, said he wasn’t at liberty to say much at this time on any potential buyers. However, he did say those who have been making inquiries are mostly investors and that a potential sale of a building that large takes a lot of time.

Former First Nevada Bank

In October 2023, Boulder City Council voted 4-1 to uphold a denial issued by the Business License Liquor Board in mid-September to the potential owners of Leafy Latitude. The applicant, T&S Bar LLC, presented a plan for a tobacco retailer and cigar/hookah lounge where people could smoke on premises and where they could also purchase and consume alcohol.

The building has sat vacant for the past four years.

“Certainly, we’re open to working with them on that property,” Mays said.

Former Bank of America

The building is currently owned by Tyson Smith. He received a conditional use permit from the city in 2022 for a funeral home and parking variation. The current business license is issued to Star Mortuary.

Rowland Lagan said the building has been remodeled but had no additional information on future plans. She did note that Boulder City Family Mortuary, which is across the street, is still operating at that location and is also owned by Smith.

Former 7-11

Since closing more than two years ago, the gas tanks and pumps have been removed. The building is still owned by the 7-11 corporation, which has used that location as a training facility for company managers.

Mays said the city has not received any recent inquiries into the building.

Former Little City Grille

This popular spot, known to many who have been in town a while as Frosty Freeze, was purchased last year by Boulder City PB Holdings LLC, which is owned by Siegel Group Nevada, Inc. The Siegel Group owns numerous businesses in the Las Vegas area but in this case, the purchase was made to turn this location into Pink Box Donuts, which is owned by Siegel. However, that plan has since changed but the company still owns that location.

Rowland Lagan said that Pink Box is still coming to town but she was not at liberty at this time to say where it may be located.

“I think the Siegel Group is looking to make an even larger investment in Boulder City,” she said.

Former Flamingo Motel

This property has seen its share of headlines recently in terms of its sale and planned use. The owners, Daren and Donna Saunders, announced last month that it had been sold. In a text to Review staff writer Bill Evans, Donna Saunders wrote, “We finally closed on the Flamingo after a very short escrow. I can’t confirm their plans but they wanted all of our approved plans that were sent to the city and told us they wanted to do boutiques.”

In April of last year, they told the Review they intended to convert the old motel into a series of small retail shops aimed at artists and craftspeople. At the time, Donna Saunders explained the concept as, “Like Art in the Park, but year-round.”

The new owner is Hamid Sheikhai, who could not be reached for comment.

Former Edie’s Flowers/ Sher-lo’s Flowers

For decades it was the location to buy flowers for Mother’s Day or a prom corsage. After having been empty for more than two years, in 2023 it was purchased by James and Becky Hughes. The building is currently under renovation and will be opening as a deli and bar and grill under the name Hangar 502.

“Construction is going along very well,” James Hughes said last week. “We’ve run into a few snags, but nothing we didn’t anticipate with an almost 100-year-old building. As of the latest schedule, construction will be complete mid-March to early April.”

Mays wanted to note that, “We want to encourage reinvestment, so city council has asked for additional ways to improve the permit processing. Council approved this past fiscal year funds for the city to implement a new software system called Citiworks that we’re hoping to implement by next month (February). This will make it easier for customer interactions, submissions and building permits. It will also improve coordination and communications between the various departments within the city to help streamline the permit process.”

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