S. Tahoe getting booze, shoes, auto parts stores


By Kathryn Reed

Three businesses that have never operated in South Lake Tahoe are expected to open their doors in 2014.

Auto Zone is going in next to Izzy’s Burgers on Highway 50. The martial arts building will be torn down. That used to be the garage where Buzz Springmeyer worked. His widow, Marjorie Springmeyer, still owns the land.

Construction on the new building will start in the spring.

The closest Auto Zone stores to South Lake Tahoe are in Gardnerville and the two in Carson City.

The building on the left will come down and a BevMo will be built; while on the right a shoe store is slated to go in adjacent to T.J. Maxx. Photo/LTN

The building on the left will come down and a BevMo will be built; while on the right a shoe store is slated to go in adjacent to T.J. Maxx. Photo/LTN

Another building in South Lake Tahoe is also going to be razed next year. That is at the Y next to T.J. Maxx where a bike shop, standup paddle and Laundromat are located. In its place will be a 10,000-square-foot building for BevMo.

“We have not received an application for BevMo, however, we did have a pre-application meeting with them to tell them what would be required should they apply,” Judy Finn, associate planner with the city, told Lake Tahoe News.

However, two other officials with the city have told Lake Tahoe News that the Bay Area company is going to expand its operations here next year. BevMo – which is short for Beverages and More – has 146 stores based near San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Seattle.

No one from the corporate offices in Concord returned phone calls. However, city officials said the goal is for BevMo to open in November 2014.

There is a property dispute concerning the building that exists today. The owners of the T.J. Maxx building allege about 3 feet of the building are on their property. But because it will be demolished and a new one built it could be moved down Emerald Bay Road and still work.

Both buildings are owned by out of town landlords.

The space next to T.J. Maxx is going to be occupied by a shoe store, according to Mayor Tom Davis. He announced this at the Nov. 5 City Council meeting.

The exact store has not been made public, but unofficially it will be DSW, a designer shoe warehouse.

“I just spoke with the Garfinkle rep last week and they are still trying to resolve the water pressure issue with STPUD and Lukins before they can rent the tenant space,” Finn said. The shoe store has not submitted any paperwork to city planners.

While an agreement has been worked out between South Tahoe Public Utility District and Lukins Brothers Water, a contract has not been signed for the Garfinkle (aka T.J. Maxx building) to become a STPUD customer. It was supposed to be finalized in October.



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Comments (27)
  1. worldcycle says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    The Malling of America. Looks like some small local businesses are going to be railroaded out of town in favor of a large box store conglomerate. Right on, soon the only local ambiance of Tahoe will remain (as if it was ever there) in the Heavenly Village. Hopefully the new buildings will be tastefully designed with a mountain motif rather than using their cookie cutter architecture that makes them stand out from the rest of the box stores. The way it is going I am not going to know where I am any more. I have rental homes in Ogden, Carson and here. We are on track to make here look like there.

    Whaa Whoo!!! A designer shoe store! Just what we need! Now I will have somewhere to find “Tahoe” footwear such as Sorrels and all of those tennis shoes we Tahoites prefer in styles that will, once again make us look like everybody else.

    Just a thought….. at least we know BevMo will have business. Have you ever noticed that no matter how poor, poverty stricken or I hate to be stereotypical, (I will probably get flak here) disabled unemployed someone is, they always have enough money to buy their booze and cigarettes.

  2. Steve says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    Stores and properties mostly owned by out of town landlords and interests.

    Probably better off shopping at Wal Mart, Costco, Home Depot, Lowes, in Carson City with not only lower prices, lower sales taxes, and lower gasoline prices nearby, but also likely hundreds if not thousands of local investors/owners in their stocks and other funds.

  3. Doug says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    Sad to see that the first two comments come from typical no-growthers who’d rather see SLT become a ghost town rather than bring in any business. Heaven forbid they even be incorporated. The Y has lost many if not most of its outlet stores, which used to be a main attraction to visitors. So easy to do a little outlet shopping on your way out. DSW would be a glimmer of hope in restoring what’s been lost there. As for BevMo, hmm must be a market for booze in SLT. Who’d a thunk. Auto-zone? Again, up to them to ID a market. Thought Napa covered the need OK, but a little competition can’t hurt. Some folks will never learn, but in these times of struggle for the town, virtually any new business is good business. Hat’s off to them all for having enough faith in SLT to give it a shot.

  4. kathy says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    Lets look at the positive, More jobs for people who are looking for work to survive, Sounds good to me.

  5. Dogula says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    So, if businesses are moving in, that’s good. The only thing I want to know is, where is South Shore Snow/Bikes going?? They do a nice tune.

  6. worldcycle says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    I love it, already generalizations are being made about people because of comments made. Not being in favor of corporate business does not make one a “typical no-growther” Growth for South Lake Tahoe is not being like every other urban area you might go to. People do not (or should not) come to Tahoe to shop stores they can shop at home. With that being said, do we have the population to support more box stores (not to mention a tourist/service population that does not have enough cash flow to adequately patronize them?)

    Look around the rest of the lake for starters. How many other places other than a few Safeways, a Save-Mart, some 7-11’s and assorted (but few) fast food chains do you see? And yet the rest of the lake does not seem to be dying. Nor does one get the impression that without them they are at a loss of “restoring what’s been lost there”. As far as any new business is good business? The medical marijuana cooperatives brought in a lot of business, Snow Globe brings in a lot of business just to name two highly unpopular economy boosters that have arrived. Take a look at highly profitable resort areas such as Whistler, Park City, Vail(yea another sore spot)Lake Placid, North Conway and Jackson to name a few. They rely on the uniqueness of their environment and foster business that compliments the outdoor experiences that people are there to enjoy. I have been a Tahoe resident for 42 years now, only the last 13 years in South Shore. For years my narrow minded attitude always referenced South Tahoe as “Sin City” to be avoided at all costs. Traffic lights, ugly main street, traffic, meth freaks, poverty stricken residents who hated where they were living. Yea, I did not have a lot of money back then either but I recognized that South Tahoe was the ghetto of the Lake only to be passed through on my way to Kirkwood or Desolation. Great place to stock up when here because it was then and still is a heck of a lot less expensive than Tahoe City. Am I as harsh on it now? No, but yet I will get the inevitable finger pointers and naysayers who will AssUMe that I do not support the community that I reside in. Why I moved here may be discussed at a later date, although now here I must say I would rather live in South Lake Tahoe than Tahoe City.

    The Y corner should really become a welcoming beacon to South Lake Tahoe. TJ Max could of easily become an indoor recreation center such as the Salomon Center in Ogden. Indoor climbing wall, skateboard park, standing wave surfing, sky diving wind tunnel, food court (a place non-gamblers and drinkers,under agers can enjoy when weather is foul) A large parking lot that can host (gasp)craft fairs and events every weekend through out the summer and a large friendly transit park and ride to get you to Kirkwood and Sierra through the winter. These are random thoughts. South Tahoe should encourage any random (any new business is good business)Mom and Pop enterprise with a slant to mountain oriented business that might perhaps enhance our community. Hey, they don’t make it, sink or swim, but huge box stores? Did we really need a TJ Max? We already had a Ross. How many hardware stores could the Y area support. Obviously not 3. I still only go to Scottys or Meeks if nothing else on general priciple. Oh yea, not long ago a Staple and an Office Max one block from each other? Obviously someone was grasping straws and perhaps we should of had a community pool with the city taking a cut off the top to see who would survive. Pier 1? How many locals really make it point as “go to” shopping? I never see enough cars in the parking lot. Perhaps the corporate headquarters is using it as loss leader tax write off. Lets not even go to the hole.

    No I am not a no-growther. Nor am I for almost any business is good business. I am for sensible community oriented growth the will be here for the long haul and enhance our existence as a mountain town. Growth that will encourage people visit because it is unique and fun. Not growth that makes us just an extension of the urbanized sprawl that people yearn to escape.

  7. reloman says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    Worldcycle, those were some good ideas on what could have been done on those properties. You seem to be a man of means,my question is why could you not have spearheaded a group of investors to do this at the Y. But since you were unable to put your words into action in time to put your dream into place that is the citys loss. Maybe you could put this together in Y stores location as it is more than half empty. In the mean time the TJ Maxx property has been vacant for almost half a decade. No one even came close to any other use for this property. The Connally Crane building has been a eye shore to this community for decades and should be gone.

  8. Perry R. Obray says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    “0A large parking lot that can host (gasp)craft fairs and events every weekend through out the summer and a large friendly transit park and ride to get you to Kirkwood and Sierra through the winter. ”

    Worldcycle might be onto something.

  9. Dogula says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    Cycle, last spring in Ogden we saw that Salomon center one evening after dark. I was bowled over and my first thought was, why on earth hasn’t someone done that in Tahoe? It’s a natural! All that fun, athletic stuff going on, kids having a blast, and even fun for pedestrians going by looking through those giant Windows. Indeed, it looked like a goldmine. Why not?

  10. worldcycle says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    Good question Dogula, why hasn’t anyone really thought it through in a logical manner as to what this community really needs? To rephrase, anyone with the absolute power to make a choice (ie… city council) (Ah, the power of lobbyists on the local level perhaps?)

    And no, relo, I am not a man of means, only of ideas that I continually peruse. Lately because of local politics and their outcomes, unfortunately I am like most. If the politics (of other places) favor my financial investment there, my money follows. That does not stop me from being concerned and investing my time and ideas in my home….. Lake Tahoe.

  11. Doug says - Posted: November 5, 2013

    Didn’t mean to generalize the total person, but the initial comment was no-growth, and particularly in light of the current situation. The pendulum swings, and in happier times I’m all in favor of keeping a lid on sprawling franchisement without limits. I just don’t think we’re in those times, today. And I too have big problems with snowglobe and pot shops, as discussed plenty before. But SLT is a big diversified place. I don’t think it’s realistic to make every single lot look like Heidi’s Chalet or replace every business with an amusement park of some sort. (The Heavenly Village area is certainly another story.) This is a raw a testing ground for the free market as one gets (Staples vs. Office Max, somebody won.) and excess will fail all too quickly. In this time and place though, the failures have been excessive. Best the pendulum swing the other way, just a bit.

  12. Charles says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Seems to me most of the local merchants cater to tourists and/or seasonal sports. If locals want to shop locally we need to have these stores come to the south shore. My only concern is will locals change their buying habits and spend money in town or will they continue to shop off the hill.

    It looks like stores are not just moving into town. There will be construction and new buildings replacing 1950 era structures. To me that is real progress. We need to update the town and having private investment is much better than using public money to redevelop.

    Side note: In the last year there has been a major change in gas pricing. With Safeway and Raleys opening stations, prices are much lower, closer to what they are in Sacramento and Carson City. While it’s good for the local buyers, I’m concerned the locally owned stations might not be able to make it without the larger markup.

  13. Frank says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Really? We (whoever that is) should decide what other property owners should do with their (operative word “their”) property? What gall you guys have. If it is my property, I decide what I can do with my property. If I decide that I want to lease or sell my property to a business and make a profit, or get a good tenant in here, then I have the right (we are in America aren’t we?) to do what I want with my property, within the allowable uses for that property.

    Where do you people get off telling private property owners what YOU think they should do with their property.

    Good for them that they have found a good tenant or sold it to a business. We are losing millions of sales each year to people who bring in their own goods or shop off the hill. If the customer wants a Bev Mo, Shoes and shopping, along with groceries and gas, property owners and business owners should be delivering it to them. What do you think people are in commercial property business for, if not to make money? What, we should ask you to tell us what you think we should do?

    Get real people.

  14. buster57 says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    cycle you have some ideas but they are just arm chair diagnosis. why not run for city council and stand up for your ideas. it looks like you have some of the reasons there isfewer mom and pop places isthat the city makes it very difficult to open one.

  15. Atomic says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    This town is getting better. The new sidewalks, even though they are asphalt have made a big difference as well as the lighting and new mountain themed bus stops, I like all of it. I also like the passion and ideas generated above, all good ideas that may come to this town in time.

    Building new commercial buildings in this hyper regulated environment takes a lot of capital. I am all for tearing down the flat roofed junk along highway 50 and replacing with mountain themed architecture with adequate parking, landscaping and bmp work. The Connoly Crane building represents the low point along Hwy 50. Dirt parking lot, rickety building, good riddance. Auto Zone, well not so psyched but it will be an improvement and a bump for our tax base and some decent jobs. I do kind of like the mid century building at the Y with the bike shop, but that’s me. Tear it down,? Go for it. I just hope the aesthetic requirements for new commercial building makes it worthwhile. We need steeply pitched roofs, deep eaves and real materials.
    Will we get all the new cool businesses we really want?, it will be a mixed bag, but look at the Y. Everybody remember the horrible theater that once stood where CVS and Pier One is? Huge improvement.
    This town is slowly losing the ghetto look, new commercial activity with proper oversight will only help us on our way. I too have rentals in other towns and I often thought to myself that those towns actually look better than my destination world class location of a town. Starting to change my mind, one tear down at a time.

  16. John Durst says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    The building where BevMo would be going in is very out of date. A more modern building in that location would improve the neighborhood a lot.

    So long as Tahoe is packed with vacant retail there’s not a huge danger of local retailers being pushed out. They’ll simply move into another cheap vacant slot.

  17. SLTresident says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Frank got it right! If you think there should be something better, do it! Its great that businesses see opportunity in this town, if locals aren’t going to put in want “they” want. They shouldn’t have a say.

  18. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Sometimes I think it’s forgotten that those of us who live and work in SLT are not here on vacation and are not retired. Just like our tourist counterparts living elsewhere we don’t have the time to drive to and from numerous different small stores to do our shopping and we want to go one or maybe two larger stores, get what we need and be done with it, which I think is the same thing our visitors expect when they are at home and not on vacation. I think SLT needs a good mix of shops that address the locals shopping needs and then other types of shops that can answer the tourists needs. It’s been long recognized that SLT’s locals go off the hill to shop and that this is a loss of sales tax revenue to the City. But when it’s faster and cheaper for SLT’s residents to drive to Carson to shop then this town is not addressing the shopping needs of the locals. Not everything and everyone in SLT is tourist related.

  19. Irish Wahini says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Love the WorldCycle idea of the Solomon Center in SLT. Maybe it could be located at the TaHole site (instead of a convention center), where there are hotels, commerce, parking, and public transportation. The proposed new hotel at the site will add more hotel space to an area that already has more than enough (half-empty) hotel & motel space. That area should be a hub for recreation activities (Heavenly Ski area is there at Heavenly Village) – so augment recreational opportunities to bring participants into the hub to spend $ also for retail, housing, restaurants, etc. Add a cycling center and add more opportunities for recreation at the Lakeside Beach down from the Casino core.

  20. Mama Bear says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    I would like to put forth another idea for a locally owned business. How about a Dollar Tree in the same center as Big 5? I know a lot of people who travel to Carson for the dollar stores. It is a franchise opportunity. I am too old to start up a business but this would be a great idea for someone who wants out of the rat race. The Grocery Outlet is doing quite well so I would think that a dollar store would also do well.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Mama Bear

  21. worldcycle says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    I thank those who like my ideas and would be willing to rationally discuss the ideas of others. I am not closed minded and feel there is merit to most who have posted ideas here. I just do not want to see these large conglomerates come in without any type of architectural and community oversight. And yes, I have thought about running for city council, many others have suggested it. Problem is, all the properties I own are in the city except for the one I live in. 100 feet into the county. Then of course I could move into one of my properties to establish residency. Anyone knows how long that would take prior to an election?

  22. SLT local says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Local businesses in south lake are terrible. Look at Sports LTD. Never seen a more smug and pompous staff. Locals discount? Better only be buying skis or a bike for that whopping 10% off. No discounts on books, climbing gear, camping gear and most other hard goods. I would rather drive to REI. Resteraunts are just as bad. Terrible service and they still expect a 20% tip.

  23. reloman says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Irish, I believe that a convention center would bring in even more visitors, in the past month I have become aware of at least to companies that were interested in holding a convention/meetings here next year but passed because they were too large to be done at the casinos(1000 plus) on was a well known very large tech company and the other was a major insurance company. with larger conventions the rooms would fill up very quickly. The occupancy rate is actually much higher than 50% in our peak periods, we just have to work on the shoulder seasons.
    WORLD check with the city clerk on residency requirements to run for office, in many areas it is 6 months or less, look at McClintoch he came from 1000 oaks.

  24. Blindspot says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Both of these projects are important opportunities for the City and the community to test our commitment to creating a more walkable, inviting strip. Parking in the front with the building set back is typical of what an Autozone or liqour store would want, but the building may not always house those stores and it’s a detrimental design for bikers and people wanting to stroll.

    I hope the City can show a little more leadership when working with these applicants on site design than they have recently. The sidewalks and landscaping through the completed Hwy 50 project look great, but far too many ingress/egress points were allowed to remain in front of Bijou Center/Heidi’s/El Dorado Savings when the property owners complained that reducing the five pullins/outs would hurt their businesses. It was the same low-priority given to pedestrian and bike traffic along Harrison Avenue. The property owners and businesses wanted to keep parking and cars on the frontage even though making Harrison a car-free zone could have made those store fronts among the most attractive and desirable in town. Turning vision into reality takes commitment and leadership and the our local govs need to treat every redevelopment proposal as a critical opportunity to redesign for the future.

  25. mrs.t says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    I’d love to see more “local”, unique shops, but I’m still happy that the DSW and BevMo will be coming to town. I love the TJ Maxx — shop there instead of Marshall’s in Carson now so more local money staying here,and FYI Worldcycle TJ Maxx has WAY nicer stuff than Ross!

    The remodel of the building with TJ Maxx is well done and if the planning /building department do their jobs, the new building will reflect our mountain aesthetic.

    There are plenty of empty building and retail space near the Y and I hope South Shore Bikes finds a new home as it is a great shop.

    Is having more national chains come in perfect? No, but it sure is a positive for this community — more jobs, more revenue, more places for us locals to shop! (I am so excited about DSW — LOVE that store!! You boys might just need Sorrells and sneakers but us girls need some pretty shoes!!

  26. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    mrs.t said: “I am so excited about DSW — LOVE that store!! You boys might just need Sorrells and sneakers but us girls need some pretty shoes!!”

    mrs.t–You are so right! And right here in town–woo-hoo! Sure hope this comes to fruition.

    from, Mrs. 4-mer-usmc

  27. sunriser2 says - Posted: November 6, 2013

    Don’t care much about shoes but a liquor store on that side of the highway on the way to the campgrounds and beaches is way over due.

    Need a sandwich shop next door too.

    I went to a couple of Bevmo stores in the past and their prices are good but no one will beat the little liquor store next to the Raley’s center. Looks like hell but who wants to pay 30% more for the same product because the store is pretty?