LandPro president: Time is right to anchor our operation in the Town of Batavia and create future job opportunities
The decision to invest approximately $10 million to build a 50,000-square foot headquarters at the intersection of West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia not only serves to showcase the growth of John Deere-authorized dealer LandPro Equipment but also will provide numerous career opportunities for students in the Genesee Region.
That message was communicated clearly today as representatives of LandPro, which has 20 locations in Western and Central New York, Northwest and Central Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, gathered with local government and economic development officials, for an on-location groundbreaking ceremony.
“It really will end up being our home location, our central store for LandPro equipment,” said Tracy Buck, company president and chief operating officer. “We’ll have a lot of our leadership team that will work out of here, besides the day-to-day operations that happen at all of our locations.”
Buck said that construction could get started as early as next week and that he expects it to be completed by November 2022. LandPro has hired Thompson Builds of Churchville as the general contractor.
Noting that LandPro will merge its Oakfield and Alexander facilities into the one on West Saile Drive, Buck said the company’s recent expansion enables it to construct what will become LandPro’s central training center, and base of its Precision Farming Division as well as John Deere agriculture, commercial, compact construction and turf equipment sales, parts, retail and service capabilities.
“Now with LandPro the size that we are, we have the resources,” he said. “The time is the time to do this.”
Steve Hyde, president/CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which has approved tax abatements for LandPro, called the investment “meaningful in our community (as) the types of services you guys are going to offer is really going to create great jobs for our kids.”
“We thank you guys for investing in our Glow with Your Hands initiative and the workforce stuff that we have tried to spear, to really kind of put kids in the heart of opportunities like exactly what you’re creating; creating investments for our kids,” Hyde said. “That’s what drives me and my team … it’s about good opportunities for our kids.”
Buck responded by stating Hyde’s sentiment works both ways.
“We’re in Batavia for a reason and Genesee County for a reason. It’s a very business-friendly community that we really appreciate,” he said. “We have nothing without our employees and, as you all know, there’s a big need for qualified employees.
“We have some great opportunities, high-paying jobs available, advancement opportunities. Any help that we can get going forward to attract people to this industry, we’re all in and partners with you.”
Elba Central School Superintendent Gretchen Rosales welcomed LandPro to the area, mentioning that she is “looking forward to the opportunities that you can provide, not only for our students to enhance their learning opportunities but also for the community as a whole.”
And Assemblyman Steven Hawley emphasized agriculture’s role in Genesee County’s economy as he thanked LandPro for its commitment to the area.
“New York is not known as a business-friendly state,” Hawley said. “I bring folks up from New York City, other assembly people, to see who we are and how we live and what the economy is all about. And agriculture is number one so, on behalf of the State of New York and Senator (Edward) Rath, I want to tell you how much this means to all of us.”
Buck said LandPro’s has 500 employees, with about 60 to 65 of them slated to work full time out of the Town of Batavia location.
“We’ll also have a training center here so we will be able to bring in … 50 people, roughly, training at any one time at this location,” he said.
The company’s product line includes Stihl hand-held products, John Deere turf line equipment, and four-wheel drive tractors, combined and choppers.
“We represent pretty much everything that John Deere sells today other than the heavy construction equipment … We have to have a very diversified group of salesmen, parts and service people to take care of all of this equipment,” Buck added.
Hyde said that LandPro’s project continues an effort that began around 2005.
“We started 16 years ago, really working on this ag, business, transportation, logistics, distribution, warehousing, heavy equipment kind of cluster right here at this intersection, right here with the Town of Batavia and the county,” Hyde said, noting that Congressman Tom Reynolds was the one “giving us a check to pay for this road and the infrastructure to go in.”
He said that ignited the growth and development that can be seen in the GCEDC’s corporate parks and on Saile Drive, north of the Thruway bridge.
“Right now, we’re almost at 400,000 square feet of new build in that 16 years, with over 400 people working here. And you guys continue that sign of excellence, and we want to thank you very much for your continued investment in Genesee County and in the Town of Batavia,” he said.
Photo at top: Assemblyman Steven Hawley makes a his point as he speaks with LandPro Equipment personnel following today's groundbreaking ceremony. Photo at bottom: Taking part in the LandPro groundbreaking ceremony today are, from left, Paul Williams, operations manager/North; Steve Hyde, GCEDC; Patti Michalak, Town of Batavia council member; Legislator Gordon Dibble; Gregory Post, Town of Batavia supervisor; Tom Sutter, vice president/sales; Ryan Payment, vice president; Tracy Buck, president/CEO; Tim Black, vice president/aftermarket; Assemblyman Steven Hawley, and Gretchen Rosales, Elba Central School District superintendent. Photos by Mike Pettinella.