That announcement was made Tuesday by representatives of the Plainview-Hale County Economic Development Corp., along with county and city officials and Western Equipment’s co-owner, Colby Flaming.

“A few weeks ago ground was broken on the new 150-acre Plainview-Hale County Business Park,” PHCEDC Executive Director Mike Fox explained. “Today, we are happy to announce that an agreement has been reached with the first tenant of the park. Western Equipment, a company built on 101 years of years of strong character and family values with 14 locations, and 400 employees, will construct a new state-of-the-art facility in the new business park. This new facility will represent a significant investment in Plainview and West Texas.”

The planned 40,000 square-foot structure will sit on a 14-acre tract along the I-27 south access road and house the authorized John Deere dealership’s showroom, service department, parts distribution department and outdoor equipment display area. It will be staffed by 45-50 Western Equipment employees, up from the current local staff of 32.

“The new Plainview Western Equipment dealership will incorporate the latest technologies and bring a new level of John Deere product-service and support to the Plainview community,” Fox said.

Western Equipment is currently located in the 900 block of Date Street.

“We’re proud to make this investment in a modern, customer-focused facility to provide the best level of support to our valuable Western Equipment customers in the Plainview and surrounding communities,” responded Flaming. David Drake, Western’s Plainview manager, added, “We are building a facility with our customers in mind. We have listened to what they want to see in a dealership and are building new and innovative features into the store.”

An independent economic impact study, Fox says, estimates that Western Equipment will pay out more than $32 million in worker salaries during its first 10 years, generating taxable sales and purchases to the city of Plainview of almost $30 million, and the facility’s assets will be added to local tax rolls, including taxable inventories of $11.7 million over the same period.

V.O. Ortega, PHCEDC president, commented, “On behalf of the Plainview/Hale County EDC and its members, I would like to welcome Western Equipment and its employees as our first tenant in the Business Park.”

Hale County Judge Bill Coleman said, “I am very excited to welcome Western Equipment as our first tenant in the Business Park. Their location at the entrance to our park will be a landmark for Plainview.”

Plainview Mayor Wendell Dunlap added, “On behalf of the City, I appreciate Western Equipment’s investment in Plainview and we are excited to welcome them as our first tenant in the Business Park.”

Western Equipment’s ownership group includes Robert Lorenz, Jeff De Fehr and Colby Flaming.

Formal groundbreaking for the new facility is expected to take place in the next few weeks, with a planned completion date within the next 12 months, according to a press announcement.