An incredibly large building in Sandy remains empty about a year after its consumer electronics tenant left town.
Fran McGehee, media relations manager for Tandy Corp., said Monday that the company has yet to find a buyer for the Sandy Incredible Universe building and property.The store, which is about the size of three football fields, closed in spring 1997.
Tandy announced on Dec. 30, 1996, that it planned to sell or close all 17 of its Incredible Universe stores, which offered everything from computers and video games to home appliances and compact discs under one enormous roof. Analysts said the stores lost $90 million in 1996 for Tandy, which also operates about 6,900 RadioShack stores.
Fry Electronics bought six of the stores right away, and McGehee said another four - in Denver, Houston, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. - were purchased by Dallas-based Lazarus Property Corp. in March 1997.
That leaves Tandy with seven big empty buildings on its hands.
"I think we've had plenty of interest," McGehee said. "Each store is in some various stage of negotiation, but there's nothing to announce."
She said the company does not have a target date for selling the buildings, and she would not comment on which companies or individuals are interested in the Sandy store.
John D. Hiskey, Sandy's economic development coordinator, said Tandy has been marketing the building on its own.
"They've talked to a diverse group of clients, everything from a potential filmmaking company to high retail sales to automobile dealership people," Hiskey said Tuesday. "They've had a whole spectrum of people that they've been talking to."
An empty building does not generate sales tax revenue, he said. But strong growth of the area around Incredible Universe, including the recent addition of new Toyota, Honda and Nissan automobile dealerships, has reduced the impact of the electronics store's closure.
"The activity levels . . . have really kept the area very vibrant," Hiskey said.
And he said the building's 11100 Automall Drive location - next to Interstate 15 and just south of the 10600 South exit - should appeal to possible buyers.
"We're ever confident that an appropriate use will be found for that property," Hiskey said. "It's still one of the most attractive areas in the valley."