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LA developer buys 224-acre rail park near Fernley; major commerce center planned

Geoff Dornan

Nevada Appeal

Industrial Realty Group has purchased the Western Nevada Rail Park east of Fernley to construct a major railroad freight operations and commerce center site.
Photo: Bruce Breslow

FERNLEY, Nev. — Industrial Realty Group, one of the nation’s largest industrial real estate developers, recently purchased the Western Nevada Rail Park east of Fernley to construct a major railroad freight operations site, officials said.

Justin Lichter, vice president of IRG, in a Tuesday statement referred to the planned Western Nevada Commerce Center as an “exciting, new venture in the dynamic city of Fernley,” adding that it “will fulfill a unique need in the market.”

He said with no comparable sites in the area, the center will attract tenants with access to nearly all major markets on the West Coast.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In a Tuesday press release outlining plans, Northern Nevada Development Authority Director Rob Hooper said that 224-acre site at 11000 Reno Highway in both Lyon and Churchill counties has the distinction of being served by two Class 1 freight railroads — Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway — as well as access to Interstate 80 and U.S. 50.

Hooper said because the area has both rail and interstate highway access, it has a federal “port of entry” designation.

Bruce Breslow, representing Churchill Economic Development Authority, said IRG has a proven history of transforming ideas into successful projects throughout the country.

“It’s a fantastic company with great successes,” he said.

Breslow and Hooper said the railroad spur, previously known as the Black Gold Terminal, is already in place along with some 5,000 linear feet of track.

Hooper said the project has been in the works for several years.

“They know what they’re doing in rail,” he said. “They know what they’re doing in logistics.”

He said the project will have a far reaching impact by creating an active and better coordinated logistics center in Fernley.

“It’s a lot more than just another company coming into the area,” said Hooper.

He pointed out that most of the freight that travels by rail is bulk. He said rail is the most efficient and environmentally friendly way of transporting freight on land, moving a ton of cargo about 479 miles on a single gallon of fuel. He said that translates into a savings of more than $400 per carload compared to other forms of transportation.

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RELATED: Phase 1 plans underway at 4,300-acre Victory Logistics District in Fernley

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Breslow said there is already power and other utilities as well as the right zoning in place at the site.

Hooper also said because of the infrastructure already at the site, development should happen more quickly than one would expect.

“That rail park has been doing gas and oil there for years so it’s not like they’re starting from scratch,” he said.

Breslow added that there is also a large amount of undeveloped land out there for potential expansion.

They said it will eventually be home to not only rail specific businesses but manufacturing and industrial uses. IRG is a nationwide real estate developer specializing in commercial and industrial real estate. The company has properties in 31 states with more than 100 million square feet of rentable space.

Based in Los Angeles, IRG owns other rail operation sites within its 100 million square foot portfolio, including MidPoint Logistics Center in Somerville, New Jersey, and McClellan Business Park in Sacramento, California.


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