Business

Wichita’s Foley Equipment to start big renovation, expansion

Foley Equipment will break ground on Tuesday for a $19 million renovation and expansion of its complex on south West Street.
Foley Equipment will break ground on Tuesday for a $19 million renovation and expansion of its complex on south West Street. The Wichita Eagle

Foley Equipment will formally break ground on a $19 million renovation and expansion of its campus on south West Street.

Company executives and staff are scheduled to host Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell and Council Member Jeff Blubaugh and representatives from the Kansas Department of Transportation for a small groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.

City incentives helped retain 153 jobs and add 12 more, according to the city of Wichita.

Foley Equipment is a third generation, family run construction equipment and power solutions company. Foley is the Caterpillar dealership for Kansas and 40 counties in western Missouri, including the Kansas City metropolitan area. Founded in Wichita in 1940 as Foley Tractor Co., the company celebrated 75 years in 2015 and has operated out of its facility at 1550 S. West St. for about 65 years.

The company will build a variety of different buildings for storage and servicing of the equipment and vehicles on the east end of its property, totaling 100,000 square feet. When that’s done, it plans to remove some of the buildings along West Street to allow for a better display of its products.

Tim Goodpasture, economic development analyst for the city, said the company had acquired competitors in Topeka and Kansas City area, and then had to make a decision on whether to move there or stay here. The incentives were part of why it decided to stay, Goodpasture said.

“This is a big get,” Goodpasture said. “Another community could have gotten 150 net new jobs if the somebody didn’t do something to keep them in Wichita.”

The timing, with the rebuilding of West Kellogg over West Street, going on was unfortunate, he said.

“But the business case is that they need the facilities, and the timing is what the timing is,” he said.

Dan Voorhis: 316-268-6577, @danvoorhis

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