Fernley has been the home of one of Amazon's warehouses for 15 years, but the company will soon be heading a half-hour west to the Biggest Little City. The new fulfillment center is being built along North Virginia Street, in the Lemmon Valley area.
Progress is being made in the construction of the warehouse that will serve as the future home of amazon.com's Northern Nevada fulfillment center.
"We're never glad that another community in northern Nevada is losing an employer but it's good news that they're not going far,” says Cadence Matijevich, Reno Assistant City Manager.
Fernley City Manager Chris Good adds, "It's bad news. Nobody wants to hear that a number of jobs are leaving the community. But on the other hand, nobody is losing their job."
In a statement, Amazon says: "Amazon remains committed to its fulfillment center employees in Northern Nevada. All Amazon employees will be offered the chance to work in our new fulfillment center in nearby Reno. We are excited for the investment we're making in this new building to fulfill customer orders."
About 1,000 people work at the warehouse and Reno city officials say Amazon's move is a positive sign for the economy.
"We've seen in other locations that Amazon is a great corporate citizen. They have wonderful programs for their employees, education incentives that they give their employees,” says Matijevich.
Some employees will have to commute from Fernley.
Others already live in the Truckee Meadows.
"A lot of the employees, I think are renters. So, they'll probably give up their rent and move into town, if they can. It's cheaper to live out here than it is in the Reno-Sparks area,” says Mayor LeRoy Goodman, City of Fernley.
The new facility has about 688,000 square feet of space - more than 100,000 more than the Fernley building.
But officials don't think it will stay vacant for long, saying the town of 19,000 is a great location for logistics and distribution.
"It's another opportunity, here in Fernley. Perhaps, we can draw another investor into town to bring additional jobs. It could end up being a net gain,” says Good.
Mayor Goodman says the move might have a slight impact on restaurants and retailers in Fernley, but expects a new business to move in there soon.
Amazon will begin moving to Reno in January.