A new tech giant has joined the companies at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center in northern Nevada.
Google has purchased 1,210 acres in the TRI Center for approximately $29.1 million.
A spokesperson from Google confirmed to the NNBW on April 18 the company purchased the more than 1,000 acres in the TRI Center the prior week under the name Silver Slate LLC.
The spokesperson said the company acquired the land with the intention to eventually build a data center. However, it doesn’t have any immediate plans to develop the site and there’s no timeline for the start of construction.
“This is an instance of us thinking very far ahead into the future,” the spokesperson said.
Since the announcement of Google’s purchase, there have been many rumors about the land being used for a possible test track for autonomous vehicles or for drone use. According to the Google spokesperson, those reports are false.
“An incredible event for the entire region,” Lance Gilman, developer of the industrial park and Storey County commissioner, said in a media release. “I know some in the global tech world were thinking ‘well, perhaps the Tesla deal was a one-off.’ Then TRI added Switch, the largest colocation data storage company on the globe, and heads turned, and now Google. TRI, Storey County, and northern Nevada are in the center of the world stage for tech company development. We’ve heard some tech media outlets are referring to the I-80/USA Parkway area as the ‘Tech Corridor’ now that Google, Switch, Tesla, Apple and Rack Space are all in that vicinity. And don’t forget, we are already home to tech giants like Zullily, Jet.com and Amazon here with their fulfillment center facilities.”
The TRI Center is comprised of more than 100,000 acres with 30,000 of those acres that can be developed for industrial use, Gilman explained in a prior interview with NNBW at the TRI Center.
In the 1990s, Gilman and developer Roger Norman had been finishing up development of the South Meadows Business Park when they began looking for their next big venture in northern Nevada.
“Roger Norman and I didn’t want to leave the market,” he said
That led the partners to look east of Sparks. Today, the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is home to an array of companies from giant tech companies such as Tesla, Switch, Apple to other emerging companies such as Aqua Metals, and Fulcrum BioEnergy.
It’s no secret a large draw for companies to settle in the TRI Center is the quick permitting processes by Storey County officials. Gilman explained the park is pre-approved for every industrial use in the book, which helps to expedite the process.
He explained that has undergone several phases throughout the course of its development. The first phase was distributors followed by manufacturers, fulfillment centers and now data centers.
“Now the new buzz word is data storage,” Gilman said.
The TRI Center is on the threshold of the fifth stage as much needed services and hotels are starting to emerge in the park.
“What is rapidly starting to happen is retail,” Gilman said.
Officials gathered at the beginning of April to commemorate the ground breaking of the TRI Center’s first hotel, Studio 6 Hotel. Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn are also planned for the area along with an Anytime Fitness location.
With the increase in jobs coming to the region, many are questioning where all of these employees will live as rents and housing prices in Reno-Sparks continue to increase. Gilman pointed to surrounding cities of Fernley, Fallon, Yerington, Dayton and Carson City on a map of the TRI Center.
“There are lots of communities that can take this growth,” Gilman said.
The completion of the USA Parkway, an extension to connect Interstate 80 and U.S. 50, in the coming months will also make the access to the industrial park easier.
And there very well may be more still in store for the TRI Center in the future.
“Our phone started ringing off the hook the minute the Google deal hit the media,” Gilman said in the media release “We had a call within 24 hours from one of the biggest software companies in the world wanting to take a look at us.”