Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Polaris Industries Inc. broke ground last Thursday on the first of what city officials hope will be several new industrial developments in the city.
Officials from Polaris, Ryan Midwest Construction and the city of Fernley participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the company’s new distribution facility in Fernley.
The 475,000 square foot facility will be Polaris’ first multi-brand distribution center and will be pivotal in supporting Polaris’ growing Aftermarket, Parts, Garments & Accessories (Aftermarket, PG&A) businesses.
“Nevada is the ideal location for this project for a whole host of reasons,” said Steve Eastman, Polaris Aftermarket/Parts, Garments and Accessories president. “This location for Polaris is an excellent place for proximity to our strong dealer and customer base in the western part of the United States and further enables us to optimize our operations across our entire (distribution center) network.”
Eastman said construction on the facility would start within 10-14 days, and be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2019. He said it would open with about 60 employees.
The Fernley distribution center will initially distribute Polaris’ aftermarket business and several aftermarket brands the company has acquired over the years, including Transamerican Auto Parts, and Kolpin. Eastman said the multi-brand facility will enable Polaris to optimally leverage shared capacity, shared systems and shared teams within Polaris and its Aftermarket brands, while supporting speed, delivery and safety.
“This is the first facility that will support the broader portfolio of our brands,” he said. “We’re going to invest in some unique automation in this facility, and we get a chance to design it from the ground up.”
Mayor Roy Edgington called Polaris an outstanding fit for the city of Fernley. The company is the first in several years to commit to building in Fernley’s Crossroads Commerce Center, and Edgington hopes there will be more to follow.
“I’m hoping that it signals the beginning like Tesla signaled the beginning for the industrial park there,” Edgington said. “They had a bunch of businesses there, but when Tesla entered they had a whole bunch more show up in the next few years. So I’m hoping we’ll start to see this park grow and start develop and we can reverse that trend of 60-some percent going into town or going to TRI to work.”
Eastman said Polaris considered several areas up and down the West Coast before deciding on Fernley.
“We felt like the community would embrace us and we want to embrace the community and we’re excited about the access to a great workforce,” he said. “We’re really excited and hopefully it is a beacon for more growth in the area.”
The construction effort will be led by Ryan Companies (dba Ryan Midwest Construction), the same firm that has led a number of construction projects on other Polaris facilities including the company’s Product Development Center in Wyoming, Minn.