Starbucks to break ground soon |

Starbucks to break ground soon

Groundbreaking for the new Starbucks roasting and processing plant in the Johnson Lane area could be within a month, the manager of the Douglas County plant told business leaders Wednesday.

Addressing the Northern Nevada Development Authority, Starbucks’ manager Tom Pasinger said the search to build a third roasting plant began two years ago, then was whittled down to three sites in the region.

The company, which is the number one retailer and roaster of speciality coffee, hopes to be in operation 16 to 18 months after groundbreaking, Pasinger said.

Prior to choosing Douglas County as its site, company officials said Fernley and Stead were considered because of their proximity to interstate highways and the availability of rail service.

Pasinger told the NNDA membership that rail service was “a wish, not a need.”

At one point Starbucks was steered toward Carson City but couldn’t find a location big enough for what it wanted, Pasinger said.

Starbucks’ own search team found Douglas County and Carson Valley Business Park and began negotiations with its owner, Gary Cook.

In his presentation, Pasinger thanked county leaders, local merchants, NNDA and the community for its support.

“The letters really helped,” he said. “We must have received 12 to 15 letters from members of the organization (NNDA).”

NNDA is a nonprofit business recruiter that is funded by Carson, Storey, Lyon and Douglas counties as well as by membership fees.

NNDA stepped up its lobbying effort to persuade Starbucks to come to Northern Nevada after later learning it was considering the Carson Valley Business Park.

Pasinger said the company will phase in the operation, employing between 50 to 60 workers, otherwise known in the company as “partners.”

It anticipates roasting about 3 million pounds of coffee the first year, with phases added to its five-year build-out plan that would employ up to 200 people.

In its fifth year, the plant hopes to produce 65 million tons of coffee, which equals what the plants at York, Pa., and Kent, Wash., are producing, Pasinger said.

Hiring will also be done in phases, Pasinger said, with his supervisor team being picked in late spring and partners within the production and distribution arenas hired in late summer of 2002.

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