‘The next Silicon Valley’
Storey County’s Community Development Director says the arrival of Tesla and Switch has set off a boom at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center the county is fighting to keep up with.
Dean Haymore told the monthly Nevada Business Connections meeting Wednesday there are now 119 companies at the center with some 4,500 employees and his office is issuing about 27 new business licenses a week.
He said the phones are ringing constantly and they originally had no idea Tesla would generate this much interest.
“We get calls from all over the world,” he said adding the county doesn’t have to look for customers.
“They come to us,” he said.
Haymore said the other advantage Storey County offers businesses is its quick and painless permitting and licensing process.
“We guarantee all permits in one week,” he said.
He compared that to one company, which had been trying to get a permit in California for six years. That company, he said, is now located at TRIC east of Reno.
“We don’t say no,” he said. “We say we’ll figure out how to make this work.”
In addition, he said TRIC has some 30,000 acres of developable land, two thirds of which already has infrastructure in place including power, water and sewer. He said TRIC owners Roger Norman and Lance Gilman are planning to extend that infrastructure to the remaining 10,000 acres in the near future.
Haymore said TRIC is ideally located with nearby access to the Tracy power plant, Interstate 80 and the high pressure natural gas line serving the area. He said Norman and Gilman realized that in the 1990s and have since invested $100 million in the park.
Haymore added it will just get better once the USA Parkway connects the Dayton Corridor in Lyon County with TRIC. That project breaks ground in June.
He said he’d like to give more details but can’t because of confidentiality agreements with not only Tesla and Switch but numerous of other companies either at the center or in the process of locating there.
He said the list includes a company that recycles lead batteries and another that turns garbage into jet fuel.
But he said they currently have some 5 million square feet under construction out there and with what’s coming in the near future, will soon have double that in the works.
“Northern Nevada will become the next Silicon Valley,” he said.
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.