SOUTH HOLLAND | West Side Tractor Sales Co. has opened a new John Deere construction equipment dealership facility in South Holland.
The half-century-old, third-generation family business moved into a much larger facility at 150 W. 162nd Street in South Holland, a short distance down U.S. 6 from the former location. West Side Tractor Sales will be able to stock more parts and do more on-site repairs, including with 10-ton overhead cranes, and will have to room to expand in the future.
The dealership made a multimillion-dollar investment in the South Holland expansion, said marketing manager Lauren Coffaro.
"This is especially symbolic because my grandfather worked as a technician at the previous John Deere dealers' South Holland store – he eventually purchased the dealership from the previous ownership," Coffaro said. "Fifty-two years, many expansions and three generations later, West Side is stronger than ever."
Rich Benck started working at the South Holland store after he returned from the Korean War. Eventually, he started his own company, which now operates 10 John Deere construction and farming equipment dealerships that serve Illinois, Indiana and southern Michigan.
The South Holland dealership provided skid steers, backhoes, excavators and other heavy construction equipment to the greater Chicago area, including Northwest Indiana. But the facility was outdated and the dealership suffered from a space crunch, particularly when it came to repairs and maintenance, said Diane Benck, one of the three current family owners.
An opportunity arose to move into a vacant Mitsubishi dealership down the street.
"We rehabbed it and reconfigured it, because Cook County is an expensive place to stay and that was less expensive," she said. "We're also solving a vacant building problem."
West Side Tractor Sales added about 10,000 square feet to the existing showroom for its service department and a parts warehouse. The dealership will be able to repair much larger equipment, and would have the space to potentially add more technicians and other employees in the future, Benck said.
"The City of Chicago, Cook County and Northwest Indiana are a very dense metropolitan area, and we want to stay close to our customers with our new South Holland location," she said.