By Robert Perea
The Fernley Reporter
The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center was already a thriving force in the Northern Nevada economy when Tesla selected TRIC as the location for its new battery factory in 2014.
But that announcement and subsequent building of the high-tech gigafactory made the industrial park the place to be, for dozens of other companies that followed Tesla’s lead.
Fernley Mayor Roy Edgington hopes the announcement that Polaris Industries, Inc. will be expanding into Fernley will prove to be a similar catalyst for additional industrial growth.
The Governor’s Office on Economic Development announced the expansion of Polaris into Fernley as one of 12 applications approved by the GOED board.
Polaris Industries, Inc. designs, engineers, manufactures, and markets power sports vehicles worldwide. The company offers off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles and side-by-side vehicles for recreational and utility use; snowmobiles; motorcycles; and low emission, light-duty hauling, passenger, commercial, and industrial vehicles, as well as snow bike conversion kit systems. Polaris Industries also produces or supplies various replacement parts and accessories and manufactures, distributes, retails, and installs aftermarket parts and accessories for light trucks, jeeps, sport-utility vehicles, and other four-wheel drive vehicles.
According to the announcement by GOED, Polaris Industries is considering building a 500,000-square-foot facility. The project would be operational in the second quarter of 2019. The GOED application indicates the company would hire 64 employees at an average hourly wage of $21.95. The GOED announcement states that in conjunction with direct jobs, the project will also have significant construction-related activities such as extending utilities, site preparation and the actual construction of the new building.
Edgington said the Fernley facility will be the company’s distribution center for the West Coast.
Although he said he doesn’t know specifically which property Polaris will purchase, he said it will be located near Interstate 80 and the Nevada Pacific Parkway Exit 50.
The land is on part of 653.54 acres on which the city council approved a Master Plan Amendment and zoning map amendment on May 16 to change the zoning from commercial and industrial to only industrial. That property is east of Nevada Pacific Parkway and south of Interstate 80.
Edgington said he is most excited about the deal because it is the first announced property sale in the industrial park in nearly 15 years.
“I’m hoping this would kick start more development like Tesla did for TRIC,” Edgington said.