Komatsu breaks ground for huge facility

A rendering, shared by Komatsu America on Facebook shows the future 189,000-square-foot facility the company is building in Elko. It will be Komatu's largest service center in North America.

ELKO – With the start of construction of the new Komatsu Equipment Co. facility at the western end of the city, building permit valuations for the month of February took a giant leap to nearly $20.72 million.

February valuations in 2018 totaled $1.77 million.

Komatsu broke ground in late October 2018 for the 189,000-square-foot service center on P&H Drive just off Interstate 80 that will be the company’s largest facility in North America. Komatsu Mining Corp. and Komatsu Equipment will be together in Elko at the new 30-acre site. Komatsu estimated the project would cost $47 million.

“There is other activity in town, but that’s the anomaly,” Elko City Manager Curtis Calder said of the Komatsu project.

Calder said the Elko Planning Commission and Elko City Council worked to make the Komatsu facility possible, “to give them one neat parcel.” Efforts included parcel mapping, dedication of a new right-of-way, a vacation of a portion of another right-of-way, redrawing boundary lines and annexation of certain parcels.

Komatsu was anxious to get the construction work started so the building and site-work permits were issued for different parcel areas in advance of the city completing work to consolidate them, Calder said on March 12.

“The areas are all adjacent to one another,” he said.

Calder said there is already a lot of dirt moved at the Komatsu site and work is under way on a retaining wall.

“They are really cooking as fast as they can,” he said. “There is only so much they can do with winter weather.”

General contractor for the Komatsu project is Hughes General Contractors Inc.

Komatsu reported earlier there will be 150 employees at the new center, which is scheduled for completion early next year, featuring service bays, shops and a yard for construction equipment and machine rentals.

Calder said the city expects the Komatsu regional service project to “drive a lot of activity in that area” so design work recently began for a new sewer lift station at exit 298. Komatsu will be on septic service, however, until the new sewer infrastructure is in place.

“Komatsu is not enough. It’s based on the volume, and a lift station needs enough flow to work,” he said.

The city anticipates spending $5 million to $10 million for the sewer project, when there is enough development to warrant the lift station.

Building permits

According to the building department, the total of new commercial permit valuations was a little more than $16.6 million for February, with the bulk for Komatsu’s project, along with $2.8 million in permit valuation for site improvements for the Komatsu project.

Permit applications totaled 35 in February and 59 year-to-date.

Building permit fees in February totaled $205,466. Year-to-date the total was $276,061, a big jump compared with $107,353 last year.

The building department also reported there are three single-family dwellings permitted for January and February combined, down from six in the same period last year. There is one manufactured home foundation permitted this year, compared with zero last year. There were no permits in January and February for multi-family dwellings, nor for duplexes. That was the same last year.

There were 59 new homes built in 2018, up from 43 in 2017, a building department chart shows.

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