When WebstaurantStore opens its new distribution center in Dayton next fall, Lyon County will mark the expansion of its largest commercial project in terms of space and jobs. The planned building will be about 630,000 square feet and roughly 1 million square feet in infrastructure to service automation for the commercial restaurant and food service industry in Northern Nevada, said Scott Stevens, Director of Operations-West for WebstaurantStore. It will produce about 100 jobs initially and nearly 400 once it’s in full swing, Stevens told the Nevada Appeal in a recent interview. “Our primary objective (in Dayton) is to serve the West Coast,” he said. “Everything west of Oklahoma is our primary audience for this facility.” The company, headquartered in Pennsylvania and with warehouse locations in Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland and Oklahoma, found that Northern Nevada provided a natural geographical niche, Stevens said. “Nevada was a good spot for one-day shipping for the West Coast,” he said. “It was centralized, and this company definitely sticks with small communities. When we first got there (in 2013), it was just the next place on the map to grow.” WebstaurantStore opened its initial distribution center in 2013 at an existing 170,000-square-foot building in Dayton at 111 E. Airpark Vista Blvd. Nearly a decade later, the company’s expanded Dayton facility will process large shipments of commercial-grade refrigerators, storage, transport, cookware and technology throughout Nevada and to California and the western United States. Groundwork began in November, and the building is expected to be complete in the fall of 2022, according to the company, receiving its first shipments by the fourth quarter in Dayton. Construction remains weather dependent. It also will send smaller supplies and same-day shipments to and from a facility in Fernley, Stevens said. WebstaurantStore’s expansion in Northern Nevada has been planned for some time, with Carson City-based Miles Construction as general contractor on the project. “They truly do the right thing by their workers and for the community much more so than any other clients than any other industry,” said Cary Richardson, vice president of business development of Miles Construction. The distribution center is marketed for anyone seeking to shop for their cooking needs, he said, but “first and foremost, it’s tailored to commercial small restaurants.” Richardson said ensuring the success of a large project like this with a partner like Lyon County would be no small task if the county hadn’t been properly set up with its tax structure in advance. “It really does take the community to work with these developers and owners in order to maintain the economic viability of moving forward with the project when you get into a county like Lyon that is now at the beginning of this type of expanding and developing,” he said. “It can be difficult to manage.” Richardson said Lyon County is stepping into its “next chapter” well-prepared by setting up for this major development by bringing in short-term contractor labor and eventually the permanent jobs to stay with the company. While Stevens was unable to specify pay rates for most of those WebstaurantStore positions once established, Stevens said the distribution center seeks to remain competitive with the job market for similar openings, saying starting range for certain positions including order consolidation or packaging might be approximately $20 an hour. “We want to try to stay competitive,” he said. “It’s ever-changing, but it’ll be very competitive.” The center will provide Dayton with a certain advantage, Richardson added. “There are no traffic jams to get to work, you’re literally right down the street from the neighborhood,” he said. “(The workers) can have a lunch break because they’re so close to where they are. And you don’t have a lot of other industrial job opportunities in Lyon County. A lot of people leave Lyon County to go to work and it becomes appealing to pick the best employees, and that’s a perk.” Richardson, a principal at Miles who has worked with owner Bill Miles for 18 years, grew up in New England and has been in Northern Nevada since 1999 and has enjoyed its quality of life and outdoor offerings. Richardson said the WebstaurantStore operation will add a significant level of automation and jobs to the region previously not seen in Lyon or elsewhere in Nevada. “These are really good people,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have them.” WebstaurantStore was established in 2004 and is now considered the world’s largest online restaurant supply store. In recent years, the company expanded its commercial equipment and wholesale offerings to include healthcare, educational, food, beverage, office, parts and hotel supplies.