53.5 F

Fallon to get a new Amazon distribution center


Facility will distribute goods to customers within a 60-mile radius

The Oasis of Nevada has become the newest member of the Amazon family by approving the sale of 10.59 acres in the city’s industrial park for a Last Mile Facility distribution center, the final destination before packages are delivered to customers within a 60-mile radius.

During a special meeting on Wednesday, May 1, the Fallon City Council approved the sale for $635,000. The city and the buyer, PDC RENO/LV/PHX/LPIV, LLC., began discussing the parcel at the New River Business Park in 2023. New River Business Park was formed in 2004. 

Adopted in 2023 to operate in 23 states, Amazon’s hub delivery is focusing on rural areas and large, dense cities.

“The city invested in the business park to bring business here,” said Mayor Ken Tedford after council members Karla Kent and Kelli Frost voted for the sale. “We wouldn’t have these opportunities if we didn’t build a business park.”

The New River Business Park east of Fallon will be the home of a new Amazon Last Mile Facility. The industrial park is also home to the Dairy Farmers of America’s dry milk processing plant. Steve Ranson / LVN
The New River Business Park east of Fallon will be the home of a new Amazon Last Mile Facility. The industrial park is also home to the Dairy Farmers of America’s dry milk processing plant. Steve Ranson / LVN

The business park is located east of Harrigan Road along New River Parkway, about a half-mile north of Wildes Road. According to the city, it offers “completely customizable shovel-ready lots.” The Dairy Farmers of America’s dry milk processing plant on 32 acres is the industrial park’s anchor on the south side that borders Wildes Road. 

When it opened in 2014, the DFA’s 89,822-square-foot plant was close to the Port of Oakland and to dairies in northern California that could provide the plant with raw milk in addition to local dairies.

Sam Bailey, Amazon’s economic development policy manager for a six-state area, said goods will be trucked to the distribution center from either Las Vegas or Reno, sorted, and placed with drivers who will deliver the goods. The venture is Amazon’s first investment site outside the Reno and Las Vegas metropolitan centers. 

Bailey couldn’t predict a specific completion date for the Fallon center but said it could be finished in less than 18 months. 

According to Bailey, Amazon initially engaged with the Churchill Fallon Economic Development (CFED) and checked with the Nevada Department of Transportation for the feasibility of operating a distribution center at the industrial park.

“We have a very good relationship working in Nevada with state, county and local governments ranging from delivery stations to fulfillment centers,” Bailey said. “Our largest operation is in Clark County, and Nevada is a great place to operate.” 

Bailey said the proposed site allows Amazon to connect Fallon to other locations normally within a 45-60-minute drive and the center will be operational beyond the normal 8 a.m.-5 p.m. day.

The city of Fallon has sold a 10.59-acre parcel in the New River Business Park for an Amazon Last Mile Facility or distribution center. The Fallon City Council approved the deal at a special meeting on May 1. Steve Ranson / LVN

“Based on capacity demands in Fallon and surrounding communities, it justifies us making a substantial investment for a delivery station,” Bailey pointed out, adding Nevada’s employment pool has great talent.

Closer to the launch date for the distribution center, Bailey said Amazon will have a better idea of which areas Fallon will serve. Bailey said the current plans call for a multi-million dollar 23,000-square foot building to be constructed north of New River Parkway between the Narag Medical Center to Gemini, Inc. He said the facility will be able to provide dedicated parking and room for the line-haul trucks that will arrive at the site to unload goods.

Although a rail spur extends to Fallon on the west side of the city, Bailey said there are no plans to use rail for receiving goods. 

Not only will the distribution center reduce the time for delivery of items to customers, but Bailey also said the facility will provide jobs in the community. The council and Tedford expressed their interest in the facility’s hiring plan. Kent asked Bailey how many people Amazon will employ at the Fallon center.

“At this point, we anticipate creating 25 full- and part-time jobs not inclusive of our delivery service partners,” he replied. “We’ll offer benefits beginning day one for our part-time and full-time associates including health care.”

Bailey added Amazon also has employees who currently live in Fallon and commute to Reno. He said some employees will be referred to as Amazon flex, which means they will work fewer than 20 hours a week and receive no benefits.

Tedford quizzed Bailey on the flex program and what it provides to employees.

“The successful program is deployed across the United States,” he replied. “We find it offers a flat rate and leaves individuals where they are.”

Bailey added it’s an ideal program for parents and students because they receive both an hourly rate and additional compensation for each delivery. He said the drivers use their own vehicles and pay for their own gas. 

According to Bailey, the final details on the facility and employees will not be finalized until a later time.

Bailey is already bullish on the Fallon Last Mile Facility distribution center as he reiterated Amazon’s goals.

“Based on capacity and demand we see in Fallon and the surrounding communities, it justifies us in making a substantial investment for a delivery station, reducing the delivering time and providing jobs in the community,” he pointed out.

Steve Ranson
Steve Ranson
Steve Ranson is Editor Emeritus of the Lahontan Valley News.