Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Retail discord in Tahoe

12/08 unedited tahoe mt. news

By Kathryn Reed

“It extremely pisses me off,” said Robert Cosmi, who runs the South Lake Tahoe institution known as Scotty’s Hardware.
Do it Center is moving into the South Shore Motors building just down the street from Scotty’s.
“They aren’t going to help create jobs because they will take jobs away from someone else. And they aren’t bringing more tax dollars because they will just take it from somewhere else,” Cosmi said. “It has to be pure arrogance that he thinks he’s better.”
No one from Do it Center returned calls as of press time. Most of the company’s eight other locations are in Southern California, though one is in Mammoth.
An investment company out of Reno closed escrow on the 18,500-square-foot facility the first week of December. They are leasing it to the hardware-building supply company.
On this stretch of Lake Tahoe Boulevard is also an Ace Hardware store. Nearby are plumbing wholesalers, paint stores and two Meeks are just a few miles away.
Cosmi hopes the loyalty of his customers will continue to keep him afloat.
City planning officials have their hands tied when it comes to approving the same sort of business on the same street. As long as the use is allowed, the city can’t say no.
Peggy Eichhorn with Coldwell Banker McKinney & Associates said it’s possible her clients will tear out the upstairs, which could add 6,000 square feet of retail space. Once the remodel is complete, the Do it Center is expected to open in spring 2009.
In other South Lake business news, employees at Pier 1 say the store is staying open despite rumors saying otherwise. Corporate officials did not return calls.

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