St. Cloud John Deere dealer Midwest Machinery Co. is in the midst of a $2.75 million expansion.

Gene Seipel, general manager and co-owner of the company with nine locations in Central Minnesota, said the new building will be 45,000 square feet, more than double the space it was using before construction began.

It had three buildings it was using, one of which was torn down this month, Seipel said.

He said its old space was too small and old. It also wanted room to offer more retail items such as clothing and toys, which also are offered on its website,

“We really needed it,” he said.

Company leaders had been thinking about an expansion the past three or four years. They decided now was the time, especially as the economy seems to be improving, Seipel said.

The new building will feature a 4,500-square-foot retail space largely for lawn and gardening merchandise.

The St. Cloud store has about 20 employees, he said, and plans to add five to seven more in the next year or two.

Its new facility is being built on the land it owns on Minnesota Highway 23, where the store currently sits.

It will tear down its remaining two buildings when the new place opens in September, Seipel said. The extra space will be used for display, he said.

“Everybody’s excited,” he said.