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'Stars align' on groundbreaking of 750,000-square-foot facility
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Feb 11, 2014 | 1820 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Elected officials joined real estate firm Lake Washington Partners (LWP) for the groundbreaking of its newest facility in the Spanish Springs Business Center Monday afternoon. From left, Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung, Sparks City Councilman Ed Lawson, LWP President Jordan Lott, Commissioner Kitty Jung and Commissioner Bonnie Weber.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Elected officials joined real estate firm Lake Washington Partners (LWP) for the groundbreaking of its newest facility in the Spanish Springs Business Center Monday afternoon. From left, Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung, Sparks City Councilman Ed Lawson, LWP President Jordan Lott, Commissioner Kitty Jung and Commissioner Bonnie Weber.
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Ground was broken on a 66-acre property in the Spanish Springs Business Center Monday afternoon as Seattle-based commercial real estate firm Lake Washington Partners furthered its operations in Sparks with the announcement of a 750,000-square-foot development to be completed in late 2014.

The property located near the end of Ingenuity Avenue in Spanish Springs will be home to another Seattle native, SanMar––a supplier of retail, private label and mill brands, including Nike Golf, New Era and more. SanMar will be vacating their current 622,000-square-foot property on Vista Boulevard to move to the new state-of-the-art facility as early as next year.

Jordan Lott, president of family-owned Lake Washington Partners, said Monday he was pleased to bring the new distribution center to Spanish Springs after completing the sale of the property in October of 2013. He said Spanish Springs, and northern Nevada overall, matches the needs for Lake Washington Partners’ various clients. He said the new facility will employ between 300 and 400 people next year.

“When we start a site selection, we kind of start by throwing everything up on the wall and seeing what sticks,” Lott said, following the ceremonial groundbreaking Monday. “You look at different neighborhoods and municipal jurisdictions, economic development and go all the way down to infrastructure, roads, hospitals and schools.

“We keep dialing down and you eventually have to find large parcels of land that fit within those circles. We feel like this is the site where the stars kind of aligned.”

The company plans to spend $3 million to renovate the to-be-vacated property on Vista Boulevard for re-introduction to the leasing market, which local elected officials said was a sign that Lake Washington Partners enjoys working with local government in northern Nevada. Lott said investing in the aging 1970s-era building rather than leaving it vacant speaks to his company’s reputation and the partnership it has formed with the city.

“We do a lot of work in a lot of states and I can tell you Nevada, and the folks in northern Nevada, have been really great to work with,” Lott said. “We really appreciate communities that want us here, want us to build here and want us to develop here. You don’t see that all over the country, so this is a breath of fresh air for us and we really appreciate it.

“The fact that the government officials would come out today and support this says a lot about the community and the business culture here, and it is a great thing. You don’t get that response in every municipality. A lot of places wouldn’t bother (showing up).”

Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung, Bonnie Weber and Kitty Jung joined Sparks City Councilman Ed Lawson and dozens of others during the groundbreaking and a unique ribbon cutting. Lott said it was in “true Lake Washington Partners fashion” before snapping the red ribbon with the bucket of a John Deere loader.

“(Lake Washington Partners) could have chosen anywhere in the nation to land and yet they chose northern Nevada,” Commissioner Hartung, who oversees Sparks and Spanish Springs, said. “And that really speaks a lot to their confidence in the ability to do business easily in northern Nevada and Spanish Springs. I am looking forward to having the project on the ground and operational.”

Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), said his organization has been working to bring businesses to the scale of SanMar to northern Nevada in hopes of boosting economic growth. He said building the new distribution center will put a lot of construction workers back to work and continue to strengthen the message that northern Nevada is open for business.

“What we are finding is our prospect list continues to grow,” Kazmierski said. “We are seeing more and more exciting opportunities and we have about a dozen prospects that are close to or have signed paperwork, committing their project to this region. So, you will see a whole lot more groundbreakings in the year ahead.”

Lott said Lake Washington Partners will be “aggressively marketing” the remaining 800,000 square feet of the Spanish Springs property in hopes of finding a build-to-suit tenant to move in and continue to contribute to the Sparks economy.
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