Amazon’s departure from Fernley surprising |

Amazon’s departure from Fernley surprising

Amazon's decision to move its fulfillment center from Fernley to Reno came as a surprise to Fernley City Manager Chris Good and the owner of the building at 1600 E. Newlands Drive that Amazon has called home since 1999. Good says the city of Fernley had been in contact with Amazon executives in recent months, and the online retailer's decision to move its Northern Nevada operations — and workforce of 700 to 900 full-time employees — west to Reno was a shock. "We did not see this coming," Good said late last week. The decision also blindsided the building's owner, Investment Grade Loans. The firm headquartered at Los Altos, Calif., had retained industrial specialist Dave Schuster of Avison Young to market and list the property for lease in April since Amazon had not exercised an extension on its lease. Investment Grade Loans has owned the 588,560-square-foot building for more than a decade. Schuster, senior vice president of industrial properties for Avison Young, says that after he placed the listing on LoopNet, a national multiple listing service, he fielded a host of inquiries from across the U.S. from investors wanting to purchase the building. But he fully expected Amazon to renew its lease — Investment Grade Loans had even drafted a new lease extension agreement and sent it off to Amazon for signatures. "We were heading down the path of fully expecting Amazon to renew; it was a big surprise to the landlord," Schuster says. "This came from left field by them. My marketing efforts were hindered by the more than likely expectation by Amazon to renew." Repositioning the building for a new tenant is paramount to Fernley's workforce. Lyon County's average 2014 unemployment rate of 11.3 percent through July leads the state and is 3.1 percent higher than the state average, the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reports. The site originally housed Stanley Tools. Panattoni Development Company purchased the facility in the late 1990s and expanded it from 304,000 square feet, Schuster says. Good is searching for a silver lining in Amazon's departure. "I just hope that it turns out for the better," he says. "This is an opportunity to attract a new employer, and when all is said and done perhaps it will end in a net gain of job opportunities in Fernley." Finding a new tenant largely depends on when Amazon clears out, Schuster says. Since Amazon's announcement Schuster has drafted new marketing literature listing the building for sale or lease at current market rates. It's difficult to offer the building to a new user, he notes, since Amazon has not yet set a definitive date for its departure from Fernley. Amazon company representatives have stated "early 2015" as a move-out date. Since leases on large industrial buildings typically are drafted for a minimum of five years, and industrial space has become the hottest sector of regional commercial real estate in the past two years, Amazon was paying an above-market rate for the space, Schuster says. "Rents have recovered from 2007 levels, and competing properties in TRIC have been asking rates in the 32-cent range, plus or minus a penny-and-a-half. We can come close to that mark," he says. "Right now there aren't very many big properties on the market and I think we should have some pretty good interest from those who need large space. I think we have got a reasonable chance at attracting new tenants for the building in a reasonable time."

Girls’ Golf: Wurster wins third league tournament

STATELINE – Even though Bethany Wurster represents Douglas High School and Alexis Holmes plays for South Tahoe High, they are more like golf teammates. As good “teammates” do, Wurster and Holmes root for one aonother and inspire each other. For two of the top golfers in the Sierra Division, and the state for that matter, a friendship has formed out of competition. “It will fuel you to strive for something better. You just want to beat them. You love them, but you want to beat them at the same time,” Wurster said Tuesday afternoon following a 3-over-par round of 75 that topped the Sierra Division event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. “It’s kind of like, ‘Oh, I hope you do well, but I hope I do better.’” Wurster, who birdied six holes, finished seven strokes ahead of Holmes, who came in third with an 82. The last of Wurster’s birdies on No. 18 cost Holmes a dinner. “Once I get my scoring figured out, it’s going to be fun,” said Holmes, who believes mismanagement of her game at times prevents her from scoring in the 70s. “I’m driving the ball really well, but I’m just hitting bad irons. I overcompenstate sometimes when I shouldn’t, so I’m 20 yards long, and it’s very difficult to two-putt from there. “Hopefully by zone I’ll get it figured out.” The two friends played Edgewood Tahoe on Sunday in preparation for Tuesday’s round, and Wurster beat Holmes 74-76 by eagling the final hole. Bishop Manogue’s Mackenzie Souers broke up the 1-2 Wurster-Holmes finish by shooting an 80. Alex Phillips, the defending state champion and also playing in the group with Wurster and Holmes, came in fifth with an 85. “It’s the first time all three have played together,” said STHS coach Marsha Butler. “Bethany and Alexis have developed a really good friendship, but they are always real competitive with each other.” Manogue, the defending state champions, were far superior than their division foes on Tuesday, as four Miners scored 90 or better en route to a 339 team total. Damonte Ranch was second with 419 strokes and Galena and Carson tied for third at 422. South Tahoe, which placed third in the previous tournament, finished sixth at 458. The Vikings’ Morgan Murphy shot 109 and Brittany Rumble fired a 118. Team scores 1. Manogue 439, 2. Damonte Ranch 419, 3. Galena 422, 3. Carson 422, 5. Fallon 453, 6. South Tahoe 458, 7. Douglas 467, 8. Wooster 526. Individual scores Manogue: Alex Phillips 85, Maggie Jones 84, Mackenzie Souers 80, Elise Levy 90, Megan Anderson 136, Lexi Robertson 114. Damonte Ranch: Shayla Miller 104, Ashleigh Westover 96, Rachael Schryer 101, Morgan Pisane 118. Galena: Hayley Jensen 100, Skylar Antencio 105, Sydney Atencio 113, Gabi Lucas 109, Rachael Zunino 107, Amanda Parmer 110. Carson: Megan Justice 113, Whitney Nash 102, Elayna Shine 105, Katie Cowperthwaite 110, Lindsay Burroughs 105, Katie Livermore 110. Fallon: Megan Hill 109, Brittyn Tidwell 103, Sarah Frandsen 123, Sara Parsons 118, Ashley Bowers 128, Katie Moore 131. South Tahoe: Alexis Holmes 82, Morgan Murphy 92, Brittany Rumble 118. Douglas: Bethany Wurster 75, Kelsey Endter 118, Megan Welch 151, Bri Burnside 138, Emily Downer 136, Kristen Greenhut 153. Wooster: Alana Crosby 123, Zoie Oberg 116, Karlee Day 130, Samantha Burrows 157.

Douglas final basketball season statistics

Record: 23-9 overall, 11-3 Sierra League, 8-2 home, 8-1 away, 7-6 neutral Team Statistics Points for: 2,113 Points against: 1,767 3-pointers for: 114 3-pointers against: 121 Free throws for: 383-610 Free throws against: 345-527 Field goals for: 879 Field goals against: 633 Scoring by quarters Douglas 486 509 545 565 8 – 2,113 Opponent 402 413 457 492 3 – 1,767 Individual statistics *Keith Olson 203 71-116 477 *Mike Gransbery 133 49-66 386 *Jeff Nady 92 59-90 248 James McLaughlin 78 28-49 200 *Kevin Emm 74 27-42 194 Joe Nady 76 21-34 177 David Laird 55 46-62 156 *Nate Whalin 27 5-16 59 Jared Trowbridge 10 33-47 55 Ryan McPeek 16 17-32 50 Brandon Bernard 7 12-19 27 Herman Fillmore 4 11-16 19 Ross Bertolone 8 2-12 18 *- Starters 3-pointers Mike Gransbery 72 Kevin Emm 18 James McLaughlin 17 Joe Nady 4 Keith Olson 2 Brandon Bernard 1 Ryan McPeek 1 Fouled out Jeff Nady 4 Joe Nady 4 James McLaughlin 2 Kevin Emm 2 Keith Olson 1 David Laird 1 Nate Whalin 1 Record: 14-17 overall, 8-6 Sierra League, 5-3 home, 5-6 away, 4-7 neutral TEAM Points for: 1,353 Points against: 1,297 INDIVIDUAL SCORING *Jessica Waggoner 370 *Bridget Maestretti 173 Dana Pardee 149 *Taryn Williams 107 (from 12/27) *Dany Heidt 71 *Sarah Hartley 70 Nicole Didero 29 Katie Buffo 20 Allie Hughes 18 Kaela Horse 18 Michelle Richardson 12 Lisa Christen 8 Kristin Wyatt 6 Gina Pfaffenberger 2 * – Starters

Amazon gets tax breaks for Reno plant

The Governor's Office of Economic Development board on Friday approved tax breaks for for its new distribution center in Reno. The company is closing its Fernley plant and moving to a 100,000-square-foot warehouse on Old 395 North in Reno. Amazon Executive Director for Development Mike Grella told the board headed by Gov. Brian Sandoval the new plant is a completely different operation than the Fernley operation, focusing on handling large-sized purchases such as big flat-screen TVs. The Fernley plant dealt with the hundreds of thousands of much smaller items that could typically be loaded into trays on a conveyor belt. "It's a completely different inventory," he said. But Grella said all the Fernley employees are being given the opportunity to move to the new plant in similar positions and will be provided the necessary training for their new jobs. "It's important that we allow everybody to keep their jobs," Grella said. The company plans to open the new operation in 2015. The board agreed to abate all but the constitutionally imposed 2 percent sales tax, abate 50 percent of the Modified Business Tax for four years and half the personal property tax for 10 years. Altogether, that will cost $1.36 million in taxes. But the company is putting in a total of $28 million in capital equipment and building improvements. In addition, the board approved tax abatements designed to bring Catamaran LLC to Las Vegas. Mike Shapiro of Catamaran told the board the company is one of the nations largest providers of pharmaceutical benefit services, serving some 35 million people including managing the pharmacy services for state of Nevada employees. The company, he said, is making a huge investment in Southern Nevada with $46.5 million in equipment and capital investment along with $17 million in building improvements. Catamaran intends to employ 200 people as soon as the plant opens and up to 353 within the next two years at an average wage of $23.10 an hour. The Catamaran deal also includes $900,000 in Catalyst Fund money, which was voted on separately because the constitutionality of that funding is being challenged. Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki abstained from that portion of the vote.

Tiger golf takes 4th place

Freshman Michele Nikkels continued her successful rookie season, shooting a 100 to lead the Douglas girls’ golf team to a fourth-place finish at Rosewood Lakes Golf Course Wednesday. Reno’s Alyson Felesina took first overall with a 79 and Melissa Slocumb shot an 81 to take second for the Huskies. Reno won the match as a team, shooting a 442. For Douglas, Sarah Schonian shot a 113 and Kristin Wyatt shot a 114. Jolie Kizer shot a 118, Shelby Louie shot a 129 and Alyssa Matus shot a 131 to round out the Tigers’ afternoon.

Douglas wrestling loses against Mustangs

Damonte Ranch wrapped up the Sierra League wrestling dual meet championship Wednesday night with a 58-12 victory at home against Douglas. The Mustangs won 10 of the 12 contested matches to improve their league record to 4-0. Douglas (3-1 league, 6-4 overall) wraps up its regular season next Wednesday with a home dual against rival Carson. Douglas picked up its wins from 113-pounder Robin Reid, who logged the fastest pin of the night in 59 seconds, and from 220-pounder Zach Singer, who won by fall in 3:23. The Tigers compete at Fernley's Vaquero Classic Friday and Saturday.

Wrestlers sixth at Yerington

The Douglas High wrestling team placed sixth Saturday at the Yerington Lions Club Tournament. Douglas won one of its four dual meets during the dual team event. Two of those losses came against Battle Mountain and Yerington, the top two finishers at last year's Division III state tournament. The Tigers beat White Pine, the third-place finisher at the 2013 state tourney. Heavyweight Ian Kendrick posted a 4-0 record in the tournament. Three of those wins came by pin. Freshmen Ryland DeSomber (195 pounds) and Kindel Isham (113 pounds) also compiled 3-1 records on the day. DeSomber's highlight came in a 7-6 triple overtime win against Fernley's C.J. Kilbride. The Douglas wrestlers celebrate Senior Night today when they host Wooster in a regular season-ending Sierra League dual meet.

Talk about construction costs

Editor: As a new resident to the area, I bought a lot up in Jobs Peak Ranch five years ago. When we finally sold our house and moved out here, we found the cost of new construction to range between $190 to $250 a square foot. I was a general contractor in Oregon and North Carolina and felt these numbers were way out of the norm for cost and profit levels. So I decided to build my house on my own. Now that I am 75 percent done, my total cost is going to be closer to $113 a square foot. There is a difference between labor cost in the area. For example, I had framers bid $35,000 to $90,000, excavators that bid from $30,000 to $110,000. I went with the lower bids and you may say quality would be compromised. That was not the case, if you look at our inspection records, we had only minor corrections and if you asked the county inspector, he would say there were no major problems and we made all the required corrections correctly and in a timely basis. We had this same problem in NC during the boom years and that is when I built homes for people at cost plus $15 a square foot. Doing the same here, I could easily get people into these upper scale homes for less than $150 a square foot. However, the good old boy network between Realtors, developers, architects and builders keep clients hooked into these high prices. They convince buyers the high cost is justified because of snow loads, earthquake requirements, etc… These requirements don't even come close to justifying these high prices. Just look at my house, it has more structural components than most and my hard cost is $113. Basically you have builders paying architects and Realtors for referrals, or the other way around, adding $10 to $20 a square foot. Then there is the subs that pay the builders a kick back. This area is just like the Old South. Greg Fisher DK Construction Consulting

Golf: Wurster wins third regional title in four years

SPARKS – It was a huge day for Carson Valley golfers Tuesday afternoon at the NIAA 4A Regional Golf Championships at Red Hawk. Carson High’s girls golf team reached the state tournament for the first time in coach Terry Gingell’s eight-year tenure as head coach, and Douglas High’s Bethany Wurster won the 4A regional individual title for the third time in four years. Spanish Springs won the team title with a 36-hole total of 684, including a 338 on Tuesday. Carson was next with a 714, which included a 360 after an opening-round 354. Bishop Manogue was third at 726. Wurster won the individual title with a 151, five shots better than Tess Jones of Spanish Springs. McQueen’s Kelsey Roberts was third with a 159. “Bethany kept her focus and was able to pull off her third regional title,” Douglas coach Steve Gustafson said. “She struggled a bit the second day. There were some tough pin placements, a little wind, and the pressure from Tess Jones. “At one point, they were dead even. Bethany carded a birdie on sixteen, which gave her the motivation needed to finish strong.” Douglas finished fifth as a team (763) behind Reno. “As a team, they played better than any coach could ask,” Gustafson said. “We were not the strongest team in the field, but the kids shot their season bests. “Fifth place was quite an accomplishment for this team. We didn’t have a lot of experienced players, besides Bethany, most of our girls started playing within the past year.” Tawnie Wentz took 16th (95-91-186), Molly Jordan was 37th (107-106-213), Emily Gosselin was 39th (105-110-215), Megan Welch was 41st (113-108-221) and Devyn Hotho was 47th (119-113-232) for Douglas.

Panther wrestling stays solid

The Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School wrestling team enjoyed another solid week at Eagle Valley and Fernley. Asher Moody, a 110-pound seventh-grader, improved to 10-0 with seven pins on the year, taking first at Fernley. Josh Lee (165) took fourth place at the tournament, and fourth-grader Sullivan Cauley improved to 12-1 with nine pins on the year. Grant Mason (165) went 3-2 at Eagle Valley as well. At the eighth-grade level, 115-pounder Michael Sepulveda went 3-0 at Eagle Valley and again at Fernley to take first place and improve to 15-0 on the year with 14 pins. Kevin Quenga (115) improved to 11-4 on the year with seven pins and took second place. Derek Super (130) is now 12-5 on the year with 10 pins. He took second at Fernley. Jordan Hintze went 3-0 at Eagle Valley and is 10-5 on the year with four pins. Rob Schwoerer is now 9-2 on the year and took second at Fernley. Pau-Wa-Lu’s next tournament is March 18 at Carson Middle School beginning at 8 a.m. The Panthers take on Carson Valley today at 3 p.m. at CVMS.