Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Home Depot looking at site in Dixon

Article Launched: 01/17/2006 02:42:52 AM

Home Depot looking at site in Dixon

By Tom Hall/Staff Writer

The Home Depot, the second-largest retailer in the nation, is looking to set up shop in Dixon.

City Manager Warren Salmons confirmed that Dixon officials met with representatives from Home Depot in December, and that talks with a developer looking to build retail just south of the city's new Wal-Mart Super Center on North First Street are "preliminary, but serious."

Home Depot is looking at a particular piece of land on North First between Dorset Drive and Vaughn Road. Wal-Mart, which sits at North First and Dorset, was built in 2003 and converted to a SuperCenter in 2005.

Since Wal-Mart opened, several fast-food and retail shops in the rapidly-growing North First Street Crossing area have sprouted with others poised to follow.

No project plans have been submitted yet and any proposal would have to undergo an environmental review, Salmons said.

Home Depot officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

The mammoth Atlanta-based retailer, which is second only to Wal-Mart Stores among American retailers, made waves in Solano County late last year when it purchased locally-owned home improvement chain Yardbirds Home Centers.

Yardbirds has a location on Browns Valley Parkway in Vacaville, and nine others in Northern California. Officials from Home Depot have said that the Vacaville location will remain open, and will undergo only a slight name change to "Yardbirds Center by The Home Depot."

The Home Depot has locations in Vacaville, Fairfield and Vallejo.

Last week, the retailer purchased industrial distributor Hughes Supply for $3.2 billion, doubling the size of its own supply division. Home Depot also recently acquired upholstery cleaning service Chem-Dry, according to published reports.

The construction of a Dixon Home Depot would bring that city's number of hardware stores to two.

Just a few blocks up North First from the proposed Home Depot site sits Dixon Hardware & Lumber Company, an ACE Hardware affiliate owned by Dixon resident Tony Tryba.

Dixon Hardware, which was located on North Jackson Street downtown before a June 1999 fire scorched the shop, has been the city's only hardware and lumber store for 100 years, Tryba said.

But he's not worried that a potential Home Depot will wipe out the longtime Dixon business.

"It's not a big worry," Tryba said. "What we're about here is helping people with their problems and their projects. You can't get that in a big-box."

Tryba purchased the store in May 2005 from the local Bock family, who owned Dixon Hardware for 27 years.

The owner said he is worried about what giant retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot will do to the small-town culture in Dixon.

"We need to do what's right for Dixon and ask ourselves what this business is going to add to the community," Tryba said. "The recent additions of the big-box stores haven't had a stellar record so far."

Staff writer David Henson contributed to this report. Tom Hall can be reached at vacaville@thereporter.com.

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