The former Coralville location of City Tractor Co. provided the business with the exposure it needed, but the new North Liberty location gives it much needed space, a co-owner said.
City Tractor Co. had its last day Feb. 2 at 1000 25th Ave. in Coralville and its first day at 645 Penn Court in North Liberty on Feb. 3.
"We never shut down. We were open until we reopened," manager and co-owner John Conrads said.
The North Liberty building is 2,600-square- feet larger than its previous space, plus the benefit of a 4,800-square-foot warehouse, he said. City Tractor didn't have a warehouse before — parking the inventory around the building, he said.
Having more space provides new benefits like for any other business, Conrads said.
"All the departments are a little bigger, so it just makes it better for everybody," he said. "You become more efficient, inventory can be increased, inventory can be housed and protected, (and) you can have a larger display area."
Conrads and fellow co-owners and brothers Phil, Warren and Myron Ropp, started City Tractor seven years ago at the Coralville location south of Coral Ridge Mall.
"The Coral Ridge location was a great place to start. It gave us the exposure we needed," Conrads said. "We just got landlocked down at the Coral Ridge area."
Along with a larger facility, the company is looking to add two more technicians because of increased demand in the service shop. City Tractor currently has 12 employees, he said.
"Every year has been a growth year and the growth just dictated that we acquire a larger facility," Conrads said.
The additional space makes it easier for customers both in and outside the building, Conrads said.
"In the Coralville store, parking was a big issue. Contractors did not like having to back out of the parking lot when they had trailers," he said.
"Here we have much better parking. We have five truck and trailer parking lanes," where people can just pull their vehicles through instead of having to back out, he said.
City Tractor sells to several groups of customers — homeowners, lawn and landscape professionals, concrete and construction professionals and a new emerging market of weekenders, lifestylers or hobby farmers — people who like to live in the country and have that country experience, Conrads said.
"Our equipment -- tractors for example -- fit into that lifestyle," he said.
City Tractor is a John Deere dealer and because of customer demand has become a dealer for several other lines, including Stihl and Honda Power Equipment, Conrads said.
"We're really not an ag store, but we're certainly more than a lawnmower store," he said.