One of the largest industrial facilities in northern Nevada might be built at Crossroads Commerce Center in Fernley.
The company, whose identity remains undisclosed, is studying possible construction of a million-square-foot facility, said David Schuster, senior president in the industrial division of Grubb & Ellis NCG, which is representing Sonterra Development Co. LLC, the Reno-based owner of Crossroads Commerce Center.
A million-square-foot facility would be in the same class as the International Game Technology plant in South Meadows or the Walmart grocery distribution center at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center two of the largest industrial facilities in the region.
Schuster said the Fernley industrial park also is on the list of finalists as a possible location for a new 416,000-square-foot industrial facility.
The timing of a decision remains unknown for either proposal.
Schuster said the transportation infrastructure at the 4,000-acre Crossroads Commerce Center draws the attention of some companies that are looking for sites in the West. The property is bisected by Interstate 80 and the Union Pacific's mainline. BNSF Railway Co. also serves the center.
Ironically, high unemployment in the Fernley area the jobless rate in Lyon County in May was estimated at 15.9 percent also draws attention to the area as a site for new manufacturing and distribution facilities.
"There's a ready workforce that can bike to work," says Schuster.
A couple of regional trends also play into the interest in the Fernley location.
For one, Schuster says, companies that need very large industrial buildings such as the million-square-foot project struggle to find sufficiently large tracts of vacant land within the immediate Reno-Sparks area.
And, even though vacancy rates in industrial properties stand at about 13 percent in the area, companies that need big spaces can't find vacant space that meets their needs, particularly if they want a building with new features.
Urban Outfitters, for instance, is building a 462,720-square-foot center at Stead, while NOW Foods recently started work on a 130,000-square-foot distribution facility at 575 Vista Blvd.
Major industrial users that have located at Crossroads Commerce Center include Amazon.com, Trex Co. Inc. and MSC Industrial Supply.
Future industrial development, Schuster says, is planned northeast of the existing cluster of industrial buildings.
Roughly 2,000 acres of land north of I-80 once planned for residential and retail development now are marketed to companies that want to develop large-scale industrial campuses, the industrial broker says.