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Wednesday, Jan 22 2014 05:15 PM

The shoe fits: Nordstrom Rack may be coming to Bakersfield

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    A Nordstrom Rack is planned to open next spring at The Shops at River Walk in Bakersfield.

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BY JOHN COX Californian staff writer jcox@bakersfield.com

Nordstrom Rack, BevMo!, Sprouts Farmers Market and several other national chains may be coming to Bakersfield this year, a local commercial real estate broker told an audience of about 160 Wednesday.

The statements by Duane Keathley, a principal at Cushman & Wakefield | Pacific Commercial Realty Advisors, are based on conversations he and his business partners have had, and do not constitute a formal announcement by his firm or the retailers themselves, he said.

The list of retailers could not be independently confirmed Wednesday. Executives at Castle & Cooke, the development company Keathley said is in talks with some of the chains hoping to open stores locally, could not be reached for comment.

"We've heard Sprouts has made a deal in Bakersfield. We've heard that Nordstrom Rack has made a deal in Bakersfield," he said in a phone interview late Wednesday afternoon.

Nordstrom Rack, the discount retail division of Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc., sells apparel, shoes and accessories.

BevMo! expects to open a store in Bakersfield in 2015, a spokeswoman said Thursday. She was unable to say where in town the store will be located.

Sprouts is a health food-focused supermarket based in Phoenix, Ariz. with more than 160 stores in the western United States.

Other retailers planning to open locally this year, Keathley said, include:

* Aldi, a Germany-based grocery retailer;

* DSW, or Designer Shoe Warehouse, a branded footwear and accessories retailer with nearly 400 stores in 42 states;

* Dunkin Donuts, a Massachusetts-based chain that said in October that it hopes to open a Bakersfield location;

* Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a restaurant chain with one location already in Bakersfield and at least 18 states;

* H.H. Gregg, an appliance and consumer electronics retailer based in Indianapolis with 229 locations in 20 states;

* La-Z-Boy, a Michigan-based furniture retailer best known for its recliners; and

* Les Schwab Tires, an Oregon-based tire retailer with more than 400 stores.

Keathley listed the retailers at a "forecast breakfast" hosted Wednesday morning by the Institute of Real Estate Management.

Cheryl Brudvig of the Abbey Co., an organizer of the IREM-sponsored event, said few in the audience seemed surprised.

"A lot of people kind of expected Nordstrom Rack" to finally make a commitment to Bakersfield, she said.

"We've tried for years to get them, but they always said our population wasn't enough to support them. Now, apparently, we are big enough."

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