Tesla’s Gigafactory has a new neighbor from Silicon Valley.
Google, Inc. has purchased more than 1,200 acres of land at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center for nearly $29.1 million, according to documents filed with Storey County last Friday. Documents list Wilmington, Del.-based Silver State LLC as the buyer but multiple sources familiar with the transaction confirmed that the purchaser is Google.
The transaction involves several parcels of vacant land at the industrial park just east of Reno-Sparks. One parcel measures 662 acres and another comes in at 548 acres for a total of 1,210 acres, according to documents from the Storey County Assessor’s office.
Records from the Storey County Recorder’s office show a total sales price of $29,096,190.95 as well as a real property transfer tax of nearly $113,500.
A representative with Google declined to comment about the transaction on Monday morning. Lance Gilman, a principal with the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, also declined comment and referred to county records for information, citing a non-disclosure agreement.
Records obtained from Storey County about the purchase did not indicate a use for the property. Typically, commercial transactions that involve such a large amount of acreage end up involving a multiple-use project. The Reno Gazette-Journal has reached out to the state to check if Google has applied for any incentives related to a future project at the site.
A source familiar with the transaction says there are no immediate plans for development on the site, at least for the near term. The most likely use that has been pitched for the site would be for building a new data center, which would be familiar territory at the industrial park. Switch, for example, just finished construction of the world’s largest data center building, the first of many at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center as part of its plans to build the largest data center campus in the world at the same location. Just a few miles away is Apple’s growing data center campus, which is located at rival Reno Technology Park just across Interstate 80. In 2015, San Antonio-based cloud company Rackspace US also applied for incentives from the state to build a facility near the Apple data center.
Another use that has been floated for the property is to serve as a test track for Google parent company Alphabet’s Waymo driverless car initiative. In 2011, Nevada became the first state to pass a law authorizing self-driving vehicles, which was followed by Gov. Brian Sandoval test driving a Google robot car at the state capital of Carson City a month later. Nevada is also pushing for legislation at the ongoing session of the Nevada Legislature to make it easier for companies to test and set up driverless fleets in the state. A source familiar with the transaction, however, described talk about testing self-driving cars at the site as just baseless speculation at this point.