Online marketplace giant eBay will build its fourth major data center at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center east of Reno.
The deal was finalized Nov. 18 when the Governor’s Office of Economic Development board approved a series of sales, business and personal property tax breaks for the company.
Dean Nelson, who heads eBay’s global data center strategy, said the company also is going to expand its existing Southern Nevada center.
He said the Storey County project will pump a total of $341 million into the area, including $230 million in equipment and $111 million in building construction and improvements. He said the Southern Nevada center will get $182 million worth of equipment enhancements as part of the expansion there. The total of more than $500 million in investment, Nelson said, is needed to support eBay’s strong growth in business worldwide.
“Everything we have invested in the last five years is full,” he said. “We’ve outgrown our facilities and have got to expand.”
The new center 20 miles east of Reno will join eBay’s current centers in Las Vegas, Arizona and Utah.
Although Nelson said, “we spend a lot and we spend it quickly,” it will obviously take some time to build the new center.
“Up here, you need to actually design and build a data center,” he said. “We will be able to serve the world from the United States.”
The construction will employ 983 people — even though the eventual permanent jobs will only number about 50.
Those jobs, however, will be paid an average of more than $20 an hour.
The incentives, according to documents presented at the meeting, will total some $16.5 million. Despite that, the estimated new state and local tax benefits will come to more than $27.8 million.
Nelson said the benefits won’t stop there because having eBay expand and locate not only in Southern Nevada but the north “will attract additional peers” — other companies who use and need eBay.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, referring to the combination of eBay and the Switch data facility at TRIC, said, “You will have the largest data center on the planet and less than a mile away, you will have the largest advanced manufacturing facility on the planet.”
Sandoval said getting eBay to build the huge plant near Reno and expand in the south “for Nevada; it’s like getting LeBron James on our team.”
The board also approved a series of tax breaks for Franzen-Hill, which moved to the Reno area earlier this year. Franzen-Hill is a construction and maintenance company specializing in the needs of the petroleum and fuel industry. General Manager Steve Moreland told the board the company has outgrown its operation in Tulare, Calif., and needs more space and facilities to expand its business regionally.