Regional grocery chain WinCo Foods has purchased land in Henderson for its first store in Southern Nevada, a local real estate executive confirmed late Tuesday.
Boise, Idaho-based WinCo closed escrow on a 17.5-acre parcel at Stephanie Street and Wigwam Parkway, part of the former site for the failed 17th and Vine project.
The $7.1 million transaction did not involve a bank, one of the few principal-to-principal deals taking place in the Las Vegas Valley, said Jim Zeiter, managing partner of Insight Holdings, the real estate investment and management firm that held the land.
No date has been set for start of construction or grand opening of the 95,000-square-foot store, and an existing building on the site needs to be demolished, WinCo spokesman Michael Read said.
He said the company has been interested in entering the Las Vegas market for a couple of years and will be looking at other sites "down the road" for development opportunity.
WinCo, founded in 1967, has 78 stores throughout the West, including two in Reno, and more than 13,000 employees.
The employee-owned company opened a 700,000-square-foot grocery distribution center in Modesto, Calif., in 2004, and another one in Boise in 2009 that allowed for expansion into Utah and Nevada, Read said.
WinCo was listed at No. 266 on Forbes magazine's 500 largest privately held companies in 1998 and climbed to No. 92 in 2009.
Read said the company looked at the demographics of Las Vegas, competition among grocers and demand for a discount grocer with more than 600 bulk-food items.
"There's an awful lot of people that can benefit from low grocery bills," he said. "We're a large, well-lit, easy-to-shop store with a focus on national brands and low prices."
Zeiter said what's interesting from his perspective is that a chain with nearly 80 stores is making its entry into Las Vegas on land that was purchased in a "distressed position."
Insight Holdings acquired the $22 million loan on the 22-acre property at a discount, which Zeiter would not disclose.
"It's an asset that went through the cycle with a $150 million project, probably at the wrong time," Zeiter said.
In the period of "new urbanism" development for Las Vegas, 17th & Vine was a mixed-use project planned for 70,000 square feet of boutique retail and restaurants and 450 midrise condos that fell victim to a sputtering economy and drastic downturn in real estate.
The project would provide an alternative to traditional suburban living in the nearby Green Valley community, developer Dan Shaw told the Review-Journal in 2005.
Australian investment firm Babcock and Brown took over majority ownership of the project in 2007, renaming it Stephanie Village at Green Valley. Only the community clubhouse was completed.
Contact reporter Hubble Smith at email@example.com or 702-383-0491.