News - October 15, 2023 - by Ray Hagar
In one of the largest land deals ever at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, Tract, an international data-center development company, has purchased 2,200 square acres of land inside TRI.
Much of the land was purchased from Blockchains LLC, which at one time had plans to develop a smart city partially based on cryptocurrency at the site.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 2,200 acres is not as large as the 3,000 acre deal Tesla made 10 years ago, but it is substantially larger than other deals to bring in clients such as the Redwood Materials mega-battery center or the Google data center.
Two-thirds of the Tesla deal -- about 2,000 acres -- is mountainous land used as a security buffer for it's gigafactory and truck plant.
The 2,200 acres in the deal is roughly four square miles, said Donny Gilman, the general manager of the Lance Gilman Commercial Real Estate Services, who brokered the deal.
'It's massive," Gilman said on Nevada Newsmakers. "It is split up between two properties, which we refer to as the Peru Shelf and the South Valley."
The deal includes 1,100 acre-feet of water rights and NV Energy has agreed to supply the Tract properties with two gigawatts of power, which is a massive amount since one gigawatt is enough to supply 750,000 homes.
“These data-center parks will be some of the biggest consumers of energy on our system,” NV Energy President and CEO Doug Cannon told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
NV Energy would start delivering power to the site in 2026, Gilman said.
"Two gigawatts is a huge amount of power," Gilman told host Sam Shad. "It's going to take NV Energy some time to be able to put that together."
Gilman could not disclose the exact plans Tract has for its land purchase but the company's website says it develops "shovel ready" sites for the construction of data centers.
Gilman said the deal and negotiations with Tract happened "just by chance."
"They had been looking to do something up here and they heard about the success that we've had in TRI, so they looked us up on our website and gave me a call and set up a meeting," Gilman said.
Tract was very thorough in studying the area before its purchase, Gilman said.
"So they're a team of digital infrastructure experts and what they do is go in and build data-center parks," Gilman said. "Before they even bought property (at TRI), they were working on all the infrastructure they would need to do these massive data-center parks. It's going to be amazing what they're going to do out there."
Tract, based in Denver, will make a "major investment" in Northern Nevada, Gilman said.
"The great thing about Tract is they will have major investments in Northern Nevada here, but the employee count isn't what you would think it is," Gilman said. "It's not as high as, say a Tesla or a Redwood Material or Wal-Mart. But the employees you have tend to be very highly paid."
Gilman was impressed that the Tract CEO and his advisers were part of the discovery team who first came out to see TRI, Gilman said.
"We drove around (the TRI property), we talked to them about all the infrastructure that was already there and the possibilities of what can happen in Storey County," Gilman said.
The officials from Storey County impressed Tract with their efficiency and were integral in finalizing the deal, Gilman said.
"We talked about the seven-day grading permit, the 30-day building permit that Storey County can do," he said. "They absolutely did not believe us when we first met with them but they were very impressed with what we had."
Gov. Joe Lombardo and the Northern Nevada Development Agency also played a big part in landing Tract, Gilman said.
"The governor was gracious enough to give us a meeting and to learn more about Tract and what they would do," Gilman said.
Originally, Tract was talking about a 160-acre deal at TRI but soon expanded its reach, Gilman said.
"This is not the first development that they've done," Gilman said. "They've been doing this for a very long time."