Kibble Equipment, Inc. has begun construction on a 48,000 square foot building for their John Deere dealership in Sleepy Eye.

It has been a couple years in the making, but the time has finally arrived. Kibble Equipment, Inc. has begun construction on a 48,000 square foot building for their John Deere dealership in Sleepy Eye.

John Deere, under the ownership of the Bruggeman family, had been in Sleepy Eye for 75 years when it was purchased by Kibble Equipment two years ago. Continuing the family’s business tradition Mark Bruggeman serves as General Manager of the Sleepy Eye location and Pat Bruggeman is Sales Manager.

City Manager Mark Kober explained that the city approached Kibble in the early fall of 2013 to discuss the possibility of a new building here. “Jim Broich, Kurk Kramer and I went to see Butch Kibble in Montevideo,” said Kober. “Our hope was to convince him that the John Deere dealership should stay in Sleepy Eye. We knew that there was a Nicollet dealership and a New Ulm dealership and that the three would most likely be rolled into one, and we did not want to lose the local dealership.”

Kibble told them he was inclined to stay in Sleepy Eye but wanted a more visible location on Highway 14. Kober said, “We showed him a map of the Snow Farm addition and he said that while he liked the area he didn’t think we had enough room, they wanted 15 acres. But we did have the room.”

The EDA, PUC and City Council met with Butch Kibble again in November of 2013 and offered to work out an incentive project on the land and some of the infrastructure if they built in the Snow Farm area. Kober recalled that Kibble was very impressed and referred to Sleepy Eye as an ag-friendly community.

Kober explained that the incentive project was created over the next six months, working with Kibble’s attorney and Northland Strategies, the city’s consultant. An agreement was drawn up that allows some of Kibble’s future tax payments to pay for the land and improvements.

“What this means for Sleepy Eye is that we have an anchor business on the Snow Addition,” said Kurk Kramer, city EDA Coordinator. He added that it should make the property much more appealing for other businesses to expand, or put their facility there as well. “There was about two years of ground work done behind the scenes,” explained Kramer. “A huge plus for landing Kibble was the location on Highway 14, and the fact that the city had most of the infrastructure already in place and ready to go.”

Kober and Kramer are obviously pleased with the development. “We are proud that Kibble chose this location and are proud of their employees and the contribution this will make to the local economy,” said Kober.

Kramer said, “We feel very blessed to have them building there, and believe that this will attract more development in the near future.” He said there have already been two other lots sold in the residential section, and “a number of other interested businesses that we have had conversations with.”

Concerning the construction process, John Halliday, project manager for Triad Construction, Inc., said that they were planning to start setting footings next week, but that the recent rains may interfere with the schedule. Halliday also managed Kibble’s construction of new dealerships in Blue Earth, Minnesota Lake and Bird Island and the addition in their Montevideo store.

“They’d like to be in the new building by the end of the year,” said Halliday.