West Side Tractor Sales Co. — a John Deere construction and forestry equipment dealer — is planning for the future with plans for a 75,000-sq.-ft. flagship headquarters at 3300 Ogden Ave. in Lisle, Ill.
The $14 million investment in the property will rejuvenate two former automobile dealerships that closed following the 2008 recession. The relocation is a homecoming of sorts, because the Benck family started their business in Lisle in 1962.
Today, West Side has 10 locations in Illinois, Indiana and southern Michigan. Its 11th facility will open in Terre Haute, Ind., in June 2019.
"We have outgrown our current headquarters in Naperville, and as we plan for our growing future, it is great to return to Lisle," said Diane Benck, owner and vice president of general operations. "We're proud of our roots and are thrilled to be able to reinvigorate this part of Ogden Avenue, bringing high-quality technical and sales jobs back to the community."
The footprint of the former car dealership in Lisle was an opportunity for the company to have a larger base than its current headquarters in Naperville, which is a 33,000-sq.-ft. facility on 3.5 acres. The property's proximity to two major interstates makes the Lisle location ideal for the new flagship facility.
To meet growing demand, the company plans to expand one of the buildings on the three lots and will have a total of 75,000 sq.-ft. of building space, which will include its corporate headquarters, dealership show room and a 13-bay service facility on 11 acres of the site along Ogden Avenue. Equipment sales, parts, service and rental all will be available.
The designs for the new facility have both the employee and customer in mind.
"We spent time to understand what qualities employees value in their workspace, with a goal to not only improve productivity and efficiency, but also happiness and collaboration. We have a variety of workspace flexibility — from private offices to communal meeting spaces, a rooftop patio, lots of natural lighting and sit-stand desks," said Jen Snow, human resources and operations manager and also part of the third generation of ownership.
"Our technician locker room area will be functional and tailored to the needs of that specific team. Our employees spend a majority of their time with us and we want to ensure they have a desirable environment to continue to build the West Side legacy."
The new 13-bay shop will have 10- and 15-ton craning capacities and a robust parts warehouse, in addition to WiFi so teams can access technical data via laptop. A large training facility will be on the top floor — not only to train the West Side teams, but also to be used by customers when needed.
"This area has been our home since mom and dad pulled together nickels to start this business and its going to be our flagship home for the next 50-years so we have designed this facility to be a source of pride along with purpose," noted Benck. "We're a third-generation business today, and it's amazing to be designing a facility that you could see the fourth and fifth generations of your family using to run our business, it's our version of the American Dream."