Starbucks enlarges plant building | NevadaAppeal.com

Starbucks enlarges plant building

by Jeff Munson Staff Writer

Building plans and a permit issued by Douglas County show Starbucks Coffee Company’s new bean roasting and processing plant will be about 60,000 square feet larger than what had earlier been proposed.

The Seattle-based coffee processor submitted its building plans last month and a permit was issued for about a 360,000-square-foot plant at the Carson Valley Business Park near Johnson Lane, company officials said.

The permit was issued for 420,863-square-feet, with a few minor conditions, said Darren Whatcott, building official for Douglas County.

As of press time it was unclear as to whether the additional square footage on record with the building department was alloted for a parking area.

“We’re looking at building approximately 360,000 square-feet,” said company spokesman Chris Gimbl.

Plans were submitted following the $4.5 million sale agreement reached Nov. 9 with Carson Valley businessmen Gary Cook and Leonard Detrick. The purchase agreement was 100 acres at the business park.

“The building is largely warehouse. They’ve got quite an operation that moves from storage or what they call ‘the green area’ to the roasting process and then on to packaging,” Whatcott said. “It’s quite a large operation.”

The conditions placed on the building permit had to do with landscaping, parking, lighting and are all relatively minor, Whatcott added.

As far as the square-footage agreement, the 300,000 square feet originally proposed was considered a “footprint” or a tentative scope of the overall project, he added.

“I think when they put the overall plan together, with the warehouse, office and mezzanine level, it was bigger than the footprint they had in mind,” he said.

Starbucks officials have said they hope to open the facility in spring 2003. Once completed, the plant is expected to employ 200 people.

However, Whatcott has learned from construction officials that company officials want building and foundation work to begin immediately, with the warehousebuilding finished within nine months.

“I’ve heard that after the first of the year they want to start pouring concrete,” Whatcott said. “Right now they are doing massive grading on the building pad.”

Starbucks senior officials could not be reached for comment on Monday. Gimbl said the company is “still on target” for its spring 2003 opening.

The company is pleased with the county’s building and planning protocol, Gimbl said, adding that there have been no problems.

The company’s decision to build a coffee bean roasting plant in Douglas County came after a nearly two-year search for a site. The company plans to expand its distribution with the plant so it can cover growing markets in Southern California and the Southwest.

Starbucks is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to its retail locations in the United States, including eight locations in Northern Nevada, the company is expanding its presence in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Middle East and Pacific Rim.