Bomgaars, the retail farm and ranch supplier, is making a huge investment in an expanded distribution center and adding 15 news jobs.
Bomgaars has been in Sioux City since the 1950s, selling anything from retail farm supplies, to winter gear, and the company has been growing ever since. But the distribution center for those goods has reached its maximum capacity.
"We bought this building in 2005 and moved in, we figured we had 34 stores at the time, we can easily double the amount of stores which lo and behold we have. We're at 66 stores now and still growing. So the time has come to expand our distribution facility because it's kind of the backbone of our retail operations," said Bomgaars Vice President Torrey Wingert.
In fact, 70 percent of what Bomgaars sells goes through the distribution center.
One reason why the company is investing $17 million into expanding that center, adding 150,000 square feet, with 34-foot-high ceilings to accommodate the latest warehousing and distribution technology.
Bomgaars says selling the old Battery Building was a push to get the ball rolling on expanding the distribution center.
"At some point, we knew we would lose that building. It's not really the most efficient building for a warehouse anyway and we knew ultimately long term we'd have to do something here or somewhere else for extra distribution capacity," said Wingert.
Bomgaars is also in the thick of moving its Gordon Drive store into the old Walmart building. The company says the bigger building will allow for expanded departments, less clutter, and more job opportunities.
"We purchased the building several years ago when Wal-mart was leasing from us, but we've done some extensive renovations. We're going to add an engine shop to that store. We're going to be in excess of a million dollar reinvestment into that facility," said Wingert.
Right now, Bomgaars contributes $8 million in sales tax to the State of Iowa, something Governer Terry Branstad was quite impressed with when he met with the folks from Bomgaars Wednesday to talk about the expansion.
The city is working with Bomgaars to help fund the project.
Monday the City Council will vote on sending Bomgaars' applications to the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
A development agreement with the city will be brought to the city council in December.