Residential development around TRIC slow to come
As more businesses locate in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC), the question remains where will the increasing number of employees live?
TRIC is made up of more than 100,000 acres within Storey and Lyon County. There is no residential community in TRIC and it is zoned in Storey County to remain an industrial park. TRIC’s location between Reno-Sparks and Fernley provides a strong pool of employees who commute to TRIC.
“We are not seeing over worries about the workforce, especially with companies that are providing good salaries and good benefits,” County Manager Pat Whitten said. “They are not having trouble attracting workforce.”
As more companies continue to settle in TRIC, it is starting a discussion about residential developments closer to TRIC.
According to Whitten, development of residential areas in Storey County is mostly speculative at this point. However, he said they are starting to see to interest from developers in the residential community of Painted Rock and for affordable workforce housing in other areas of the River District.
“There is a common misconception that Storey County is anti-housing and we’re not,” Whitten said. “We are strategic housing.”
Painted Rock is located in the northeast area of Storey County and is south of the Truckee River and Interstate 80. According to Storey County’s Master Plan, the development could grow from a couple hundred residents to up to 34,000 homes adding 85,000 people to the area.
However, Whitten said that there are many challenges that come along with developing this area for residential, namely the lack of infrastructure in the area. He also said that the development of the residential area will largely depend on the market.
“(Painted Rock) is centrally in the middle of nowhere,” Whitten said.
Another possibility for development is the piece of TRIC land located in Lyon County.
Wes Adams, a developer in Las Vegas, purchased the 20,000 acres of land in Lyon County about 12 years ago. He died soon after purchasing the land but his son Weston Adams, the managing partner of NV-Reno Industrial, LLC, has plans to develop the land.
“We want it to impact Lyon County in a positive way,” Adams said in a phone interview with the NNBW.
According to Adams, he is waiting to see the effect the USA Parkway connection will have on the area before solidifying any development plans.
The USA Parkway project will connect Interstate 80 and U.S. 50 with Storey and Lyon County. The more than $70 million project is currently underway by Ames Construction and is on track to be completed by the estimated completion date of December 2017. Whitten said that he thinks the project may even be finished before the December date.
The Nevada Department of Transportation Board in January approved the contract for the 12-mile highway extension, which will be designated State Route 439.
USA Parkway/SR439 will reduce commute time for employees and those doing business in the TRIC area.
According to Whitten, who lives in Virginia City, it currently takes him about an hour to travel to the TRIC. With the addition of the USA Parkway, he expects his commute will be reduced to about 35 minutes.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.