Construction Underway at Tesla Gigafactory Near Reno
The package that will bring Tesla Motors to northern Nevada is a deal that some say will revolutionize the economy of the region.
Friday, September 5th 2014, 4:34 pm PDT by
Friday, September 5th 2014, 5:33 pm PDT
The Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center got started about 15 years ago, and now it's home to more than 160 companies. Now, Tesla is on the way. The electric car company's 10 million square foot gigafactory is under construction on the east side of the industrial center, about 15 miles east of Sparks. The battery factory will be the largest building, by area, in North America. It is a project that could take two to three years to finish, but part of it could open much earlier.
"I've actually heard that they've talked about building a 500,000 footer for a mini line, right away, quickly," Lance Gilman, Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center Principal said. "They could put that up in 180 days."
Part of the deal includes expanding USA Parkway about nine miles to Highway 50. Gilman says 700,000 people live in a 50 mile radius of TRI, and the new road is critical for transportation.
"That's going to access all of the neighborhoods around Silver Springs and Stagecoach and Dayton, all the way down to Yerington," Gilman said.
Gilman says the industrial park has thrived with distribution centers, in part because it has Walmart as an anchor. He says Tesla gives them the same thing for manufacturing, and validates the region, worldwide.
"The tsunami that's coming, that will really benefit our communities and Storey County, is the follow-up," Gilman said. "The tsunami that's going to come behind Tesla."
He says Nevada's return on investment will be much higher than anticipated because of that influx of new manufacturing, putting Storey County on the map.
"I'm going to tell you that when we look back in five years, they're going to be the richest county, per capita, in the United States," Gilman said. "Tesla is going to take us there."
Gilman says landing a prized company like Tesla is historical, ranking it as one of Nevada's greatest economic achievements.
"We're sitting, right now, in the new Comstock Lode, right here in Storey County," Gilman said.
The gigafactory is expected to double the amount of people that work full-time, in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. Gilman says, in his lifetime, he expects to see 150,000 people working out there.