Amazon is close to finishing construction of a new warehouse complex in Reno on a 91-acre industrial park, according to aNevada television station. The complex will house three buildings totaling 1.2 million square feet.
The new fulfillment center location will replace one of its older warehouses located in Fernley, Nevada, which is 750,000 square feet. The Associated Press (via MiamiHerald.com) reported that Amazon promised all employees at the old location the chance to transfer to Reno, about 30 miles west of Fernley.
Amazon’s Fernley warehouse opened in 1999 and, according to the AP, employs 600 to 900 employees year-round and as many as 4,000 during the holiday season. Fernley was one of three Amazon centers that relied heavily on temporary, migrant workers who stay in campgrounds near the facility, as outlined in the EcommerceBytes series, “Amazon Confidential: Confessions of a Warehouse Worker.”
The other two fulfillment centers are located Coffeyville, Kansas, and Campbellsville, Kentucky.
Amazon described Fernley as flourishing in a small-town environment of low crime, low traffic congestion, and low taxes. “Fernley is a growing community with many casinos, offering excellent restaurants and a wide variety of entertainment. It is also a burgeoning industrial base.”
Fernley was featured in a Wall Street Journal article in 2011 called, “Welcome to Amazon Town: Retired “Workampers” Flock to Remote Towns for Temporary Gigs; RV Parks Are Full.”
Fernley’s estimated population as of 2007 was approximately 20,000, and the closure of the Amazon warehouse could have a major impact on the small city.