The city of Ankeny will advance more than $750,000 in funds to Toro and Ryan Cos. for site development costs related to the project and abate taxes for 11 years. Submitted photo
The city of Ankeny will advance more than $750,000 in funds to Toro and Ryan Cos. for site development costs related to the project and abate taxes for 11 years. Submitted photo

The Toro Co., a major turf maintenance and irrigation equipment supplier to customers ranging from weekend lawn warriors to large landscaping contractors, has staked out a big new footprint in Ankeny.

Toro is building a 450,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Ankeny that will serve as a distribution hub for equipment built at two of its Midwest manufacturing plants. The Bloomington, Minn.-based manufacturer chose an approximately 30-acre site at the southwest corner of Southeast Delaware Avenue and Southeast 54th Street, which will provide its trucks easy access to the Corporate Woods Drive interchange to Interstate 35. Ryan Companies US Inc. is developing the site and will own the warehouse building, which it will lease to Toro on a 15-year lease.

The distribution center, Toro’s first operational presence in Iowa, will primarily distribute Toro and Exmark-branded residential and landscape contractor turf maintenance equipment to distributors, dealers and The Home Depot stores in the United States and Canada. Those products are primarily produced at the company’s manufacturing facilities in Windom, Minn., and Beatrice, Neb.

The 98-year-old company had global sales of nearly $1.9 billion in its most recent fiscal year, which ended Oct.31, with a presence in more than 90 countries.

Brad Schoenfelder, vice president of development for Ryan Companies, said Ryan is investing approximately $20 million in the Ankeny warehouse facility, which will have 38 loading bays and will be expandable by another 50,000 square feet of space. Construction began May 1, and Schoenfelder said his company expects to hand the keys to Toro officials on Dec. 7.

The project is expected to create 26 jobs, six of which were at wage levels high enough to qualify for state tax incentives.

Ankeny officials credited strong relationships with the landowners, state officials and the Greater Des Moines Partnership for its success in landing the project.