BY JOE GARDYASZ
Senior Staff Writer
Theisen’s Inc. would have come to Indianola sooner, but the farm-supply business was busy expanding elsewhere in Iowa, says co-owner Chris Theisen.
When the Dubuque-based company’s 65,000-square-foot store opens this fall in Indianola, it will be the 20th retail location for the third-generation family-owned business.
“It’s actually a project that got bumped because of other expansions we did,” Theisen said. “We opened two 100,000-square-foot stores last year – one in Coralville, another in Cedar Rapids.”
Theisen said the company has been interested in entering the Indianola market for more than five years. The right opportunity came about with Summercrest Hills. The 80-acre mixed-use subdivision, located on the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 65/69 and Hillcrest Avenue, is being developed by Three-Sixty Group LLC, a West Des Moines-based commercial development and investment company. Theisen’s will be the first retail tenant in the development, which so far has attracted an assisted living center, a YMCA fitness facility and a medical clinic. Theisen’s is building just south of the Noble Ford automobile dealership.
“We’re excited about (the location) because of the visibility of the 65/69 highway,” Theisen said. “We hope that we’re part of the springboard in development.” The store is expected to open in late September, and will employ between 60 and 80 people, bringing the company’s work force to about 900 employees.
Founded in 1927 when Leo and Kathryn Theisen opened Theisen Battery & Electric in Dubuque, the company is now led by their son Jim Theisen along with his two sons, Tony and Chris Theisen.
Initially, the company planned for a smaller store in Indianola, between 40,000 and 50,000 square feet, but decided to build it larger, Chris Theisen said.
“Based on how it laid out on the site, it would have been very costly to add on to it in the future, so we decided to build as big a building as we could on the site right now,” he said. The company’s stores range from 10,000 to 100,000 square feet; only four other stores it operates are bigger than Indianola’s, he said.
The general contractor for the design-build project is Epic Construction Inc. of Dubuque; the building was designed by IIW Engineers and Surveyors P.C. of Dubuque.
The store will have a “very deep and wide” selection of products and offer excellent customer service, Theisen said. “We pride ourselves on our people having product knowledge,” he said.
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