Wal-Mart plans distribution center | NevadaAppeal.com

Wal-Mart plans distribution center

Becky Bosshart

Construction of Wal-Mart’s 880,000-square-foot distribution center south of Interstate 80 in Storey County will begin in summer 2005, which continues the big-box retailer’s expansion into Nevada.

Wal-Mart spokesman Eric Berger said Friday this type of development usually takes about 15 months to construct. It will serve Wal-Mart stores within a 120-mile radius. To start, 500 employees will work in the center and over the next few years increase to 700.

“This distribution center will be a hub that will allow us to provide our stores in the area with the different products that we provide to our customers,” he said.

The center, four times the size of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Douglas County, will be located about two miles south of I-80 on USA Parkway in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. About 90 percent of the jobs created are planned to be full-time with health insurance, profit sharing and a stock-purchase plan. Hiring of area residents is expected to begin in summer 2006.

Lance Gilman, co-owner of the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, said Friday the announcement is good business for his center because Wal-Mart will attract suppliers to Storey County.

“We’ll be the recipient of many, many companies that will locate here,” he said.

TRIC is the largest fee-owned parcel of property in the state. It’s 104,000 acres, which is about 60 percent of Storey County.

The largest retailer in the world operates nine discount stores, 12 supercenters, five Sam’s Clubs and two distribution centers in Nevada, where it also employs more than 9,800 associates. Wal-Mart broke ground this week on its Carson City store at Hot Springs Road and College Parkway.

Lisa Plummer, director of business development with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, said the Wal-Mart project could bring more than $50 million annually into the regional economy.

She and other economic development officials worked with Wal-Mart for 18 months to bring the distribution center to Storey County. And it was a hard secret to keep.

Wal-Mart demands confidentiality to such a degree that Plummer said she didn’t even know who the developer was until eight months into discussion.

Plummer said Nevada is easier to operate in because the state has lower taxes than California and available land.

“We are a much friendlier place to do business,” she said.

Many California cities have passed ordinances banning big-box stores, aiming to keep Wal-Mart supercenters out.

Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@ nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.