BLOOMFIELD — Officials on Wednesday broke ground for two new buildings that will house parts, services and sales operations for Wagner Equipment Company.
The buildings are expected to occupy 100,000 square feet in the Animas Industrial Park, located on U.S. Highway 550 in Bloomfield. Wagner sells and rents the Caterpillar line of heavy equipment.
"This has been a very long time coming," said Bloomfield Mayor Scott Eckstein during a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon, which more than 30 people attended.
He said the city has been looking for occupants for the industrial park for the past eight years and is happy a large, high-profile company has decided to build in the city.
"This isn't just good for Bloomfield, it's good for San Juan County as a whole," he said.
Scott Wagner, vice president of product support for Wagner, the company plans to move its more than 100 employees from the Flora Vista facility to Bloomfield when construction is complete.
"We're out of room where we are because business is picking up so much," Wagner said in an interview.
He noted once the company moves to Bloomfield, it expects to hire more employees.
Wagner CEO Bruce Wagner said construction is scheduled to be completed in 18 months.
Bloomfield City Manager David Fuqua said the new construction is a sign of growth in the city and county. He applauded Wagner for coming to Bloomfield and said he hopes other companies will follow suit and build at the industrial park.
"It ups the level. If it's good enough for CAT, it's probably going to be good enough for (other companies)," he said during his speech at the groundbreaking.
The city's government was easy to work with to create the industrial park, said Tim Cummins, co-owner of Rio Real Estate Investment, an Albuquerque developer of the Animas Industrial Park. Scott Wagner added the city was "very helpful" and "welcoming."
Eckstein said city workers should be commended for working together to bring the company into the city. Also, he believes elected leaders should be engaged when recruiting companies to a city.
"I try to be involved," he said, "I try to be out there and available and show businesses that you want to work with them."Erny Zah is The Daily Times business editor. He can be reached at 505-564-4638.and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @ernyzah on Twitter.