Office Depot plans Juneau store

Retailer submits permit application

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Just as Home Depot opened its doors in Juneau, another big box retailer, Office Depot is aiming to build a store nearby.

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The Florida-based furniture and office supplies retail chain submitted a proposal June 19 to the city's community development department to construct a 21,155-square-foot building, according to the application submitted by Wayne Jensen, of the Juneau-based architecture firm Jensen Yorba Lott.

The store would be on property next to Home Depot in the Lemon Creek area and owned by that store.

"They follow retail and they go where there is a conglomeration of retail with other national names," said Mike Olsen, a broker for the Washington-based commercial real estate firm Rainier Commercial and former Juneau resident.

Olsen said Office Depot is one of his clients, but he would not comment on the store proposed for Juneau.

He did say, however, that the Lemon Creek area is undergoing rapid changes that were jump-started by Costco, the membership retail store, which is planning its own expansion.

"Costco is such a strong draw. That is what is pulling people," Olsen said.

He said it was highly unusual for a national chain such as Costco to build a store in such a tucked-away area and against a mountain, but Juneau's landscape creates a unique retail dynamic and the store has done well.

"You talk to any national retailer, and they would say it goes against every model that is Retailing 101," he said. "There is no visibility there whatsoever."

The Office Depot building as proposed would be 198 feet long, 113 feet wide and 30 feet high. Seventy-one parking spots would be provided in a lot that would be surrounded by linden and maple trees and native grasses and wildflowers. Jensen said a traffic study is being completed.

Office Depot has nearly 1,200 retail stores in North America and another 360 stores, either company-owned, licensed or franchised, in other parts of the world.

To view the conditional use permit application filed for Office Depot go to:

http://juneauempire.com/stories/070307/USE07-27_Apps.pdf.

• Brittany Retherford can be reached at 523-2276 or brittany.retherford@juneauempire.com.



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