Google purchases 1,210 acres in Tahoe Reno Industrial Center | TahoeDailyTribune.com

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Google purchases 1,210 acres in Tahoe Reno Industrial Center

Google purchased 1,210 acres in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center for approximately $29. 1 million late last week under the subsidiary Silver Slate LLC, several parties confirmed to the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

An unidentified spokesperson for Google said that the company acquired the land with the intention to eventually build a data center. However, they do not have any immediate plans to develop the site and there is no timeline for the start of construction.

"This is an instance of us thinking very far ahead into the future," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also said that the rumors about the land being used for a possible test track for autonomous vehicles or for drone use are false.

On Thursday, Lance Gilman, developer of the industrial park and Storey County commissioner, confirmed the Google announcement.

"An incredible event for the entire region," said Gilman in a media release. "I know some in the global tech world were thinking 'well perhaps the Tesla deal was a one-off.' Then TRI added Switch, the largest Colocation Data Storage Company on the globe, and heads turned, and now Google, TRI, Storey County, and Northern Nevada are in the center of the world stage for tech company development."

Gilman went on to point out that the area is quickly becoming a hub for tech companies.

"It is now a fact that all of Northern Nevada is tied closely together as a true trade area," said Gilman. "All the jobs TRI is bringing in will pour well over a billion dollars annually in payroll into the surrounding cities in what I call the 'Golden Circle.' This Golden Circle trade area is comprised of Reno and Sparks on the West, Carson City, Dayton, Silver Springs and Yerington on the South, and Fernley and Fallon in the East. And TRI and our Tech Corridor sits as the hub of this wheel. With the USA Parkway project being completed within the next four months, we now have supporting roads and highways interconnecting all these areas with the great tech jobs here at TRI."

Skilled worker shortage

The acquisition could mean more trouble for Northern Nevada businesses looking for skilled workers.

"Workforce is going to be our No. 1 priority," Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association told a breakfast meeting of Nevada Business Connections at the Gold Dust West on Wednesday.

Details of Google's plans aren't clear, but Bacon said if the technology company gets a similar tax incentive deal as Tesla that would mean the company would be required to hire 50 percent of its workers in Nevada. And Google could employ 10,000 workers over 10 years, said Bacon, putting more pressure on the area's workforce.

Bacon gave an update on legislative action, including Assembly Bill 331, a bill that died last week but that could be revived in part later in the legislative session.

The bill would have created a system of community colleges separate from Nevada's two large universities

Community colleges as well as Western Nevada College often work closely with local employers and provide workforce training.

"Right now colleges have to go to the Board of Regents and it can take six months to get a new program going," said Bacon.

No action was taken on the bill, but Bacon thinks one portion of it that would create a separate board to ensure that community college courses receive credit at the universities may make it into other legislation.

"It's critical from a workforce standpoint," said Bacon. "You can't ask employers to spend the money to educate their employees."