TRIC embraces retail, support services opportunities
With all the development at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, retail and support opportunities are abundant at the park.
Current businesses at the vast business park in Storey County employ nearly 4,800 workers, while approximately 600 contractors are in the midst of building more facilities at the park. Couple that with the distance from populated areas like Reno-Sparks and Fernley, the numbers working in TRIC are creating a need for retail development such as restaurants and support services.
Some businesses have already seized the opportunity at TRIC. Sandwich shops Port-of-Subs and Subway, opened brick and mortar stores at the town center, part of the 440 USA Parkway project. Also included at the center are Philly’s NV, a cheesesteak and hamburger restaurant, along with a Golden Gate Gasoline gas station and convenience store.
Reno Engineering, which owns 440 USA Parkway, is in the process of developing a sister building on their eight-acre parcel just off of USA Parkway. Businesses that have expressed interest moving into the area including a gas station/convenience store, restaurant and daycare center.
“They need additional services out there,” said Britton Griffith-Douglass, vice president of operations for Reno Engineering from a March 28 article in NNBW.
Some other businesses in park, such as the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, have in-house cafeterias or food services for employees.
Area food trucks, on the other hand, also have been filling a void by providing food services around the business park.
Fat Burger was the first restaurant to supply a mobile food truck at the park, beginning in May of last year. Since then, eight other mobile trucks have received business licenses from Storey County to do business at the park.
Other trucks that obtained licenses to operate at TRIC since then are: Nevada Food Truck, Reno Provisions/Burger Me, Codfather, Pap Fred’s Food Shed, Smee’s Alaskan, Carmen’s Mexican Restaurant Catering, Pho Real, and Ferntucky Barbecue.
Storey County Manager Pat Whitten said the food trucks are a welcome addition to the park.
“We’re a big fan of the food trucks,” he said during a recent tour of the industrial center.
Retail is also not limited to eateries and convenience stores. Each business at TRIC, under a development agreement, can dedicate up to 10 percent of its operations at TRIC to retail.
Tire Track, for example, not only operates as a distribution center, but also sells product from its TRIC facility.
Support services have also sprouted out at TRIC. Renown Health opened an urgent care facility on USA Parkway last summer, aimed to service workers at TRIC as well as rural residents and Nevada Department of Transportation employees.
A dentist’s office, Desert Valley Dental of TRI, Inc. also opened a clinic at TRIC.
Whitten is optimistic such retail development will continue, not only along the interstate corridor, but sprinkled around the park.
“Over time we hope retail will grow and spread around a bit,” he said.
Whitten added that retail development such as new restaurants, could be imperative in TRIC’s overall development. For example he said workers scattered around the park at manufacturing, distribution and data centers often have a limited amount of time for lunch breaks. Long distances to and from a restaurant can really cut into the time they have to get something to eat.
He is also hopeful the continued completion of USA Parkway, a roadway that will eventually cut through the park and connect it to Highway 50 to the south, will only aid retail development. There is also hope that one or more hotels will be constructed in the future.
But only time will tell if and when new retail and services will come about, although Whitten indicates the business friendly climate at TRIC should attract more retail to the area.
“It’s really what the market demands,” Whitten said. “But it would provide another nice revenue stream for us.”
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.