RENO, NV - Some are calling it good news; some are calling it bad. Amazon's announcement of its move is getting mixed reactions throughout our community. The online retailer last week announced it will vacate Fernley in favor of a building at 8000 North Virginia Street in Reno.
The new building could benefit Amazon for various reasons. It is tall and about 100,000 square feet bigger, which means more room for storage.
Amazon.com has been a part of Fernley for 15 years.
"Well, it is not good news, you never like to hear news like this," said Christopher Good, City Manager of Fernley.
Word that the company will leave town, taking with it several hundred jobs, means an identity shift for the small town.
"I am confident that we'll find another investor who will come in and occupy the same space, I hope, and offer new jobs right here in Fernley," said Good.
It's happened before. Stanley Tools occupied the space back in 1998, but quickly pulled out. Amazon came in a year later.
Around town, rumors are circulating that Coca-Cola could take over the property, but the company listing the building says those rumors are untrue.
"Some people are worried they may lose their job but those jobs seem to be relocating into Reno," said Leroy Goodman, Mayor of Fernley.
Amazon has told KOLO 8 News Now everyone will be offered a job in the new facility.
"It's not necessarily job losses for Fernley as much as it is gains for Reno in those extra positions they may be able to add on with the expansion of the facility," said Cadence Matijevich, Reno Assistant City Manager.
Amazon is not opening up about a reason for the move, but sources indicate the Fernley building is aging and requires updates to meet the retailer's needs. Simply comparing dimensions, the new facility offers more floor space.
"Certainly we never want our benefit to be at the detriment of another community in northern Nevada, but in a lot of ways this can be a win-win," said Matijevich.
Fernley city officials agree. While the change came as a surprise, they're confident some good will come of this.
"I don't think it will stay vacant very long; in fact there maybe someone else already looking at it," said Mayor Goodman.
Reno city officials say they had no prior contact with Amazon. They found out the same time as the rest of us that the company was moving. The story is different in Fernley. They were in talks with Amazon 2 months ago and were told the company would not be moving. That obviously changed.