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Destruction Meets Determination

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October 28, 2020 |

Since its first introduction to the public in 1837, the John Deere name has stood proudly and unwaveringly as a symbol of an honest day’s work and a commitment to respecting the very soil upon which the American way was founded. John Deere’s promise to always deliver integrity, quality, commitment and innovation to those who are “linked to the land” is still fulfilled today in thousands of dealerships across the country.

It was a natural fit, then, to look to Kansas – with more than 58,000 farms stretching across its rolling plains – as an ideal location for additional John Deere dealerships when agriculture equipment sales took a leap upward in the 1990s. The company zeroed in on Baldwin City, a small town in the northeastern part of the state surrounded by rural communities with thousands of acres of opportunity.

In 1998, an undeveloped 17-acre piece of land with a small job trailer functioning as a business office became the humble first location of Heritage Tractor – a company that today has grown to include 22 locations throughout Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.


Hastings Star


One of those locations, however, recently reopened its doors – or rather, opened brand new doors – after a major fire completely destroyed their original building in May of 2018. The Lawrence, KS location now offers customers a new state-of-the-art showroom and more streamlined layout, thanks to Star builder HASTCO Construction of Topeka, KS., and Davidson Architecture & Engineering of Overland Park, KS.

Because of Heritage’s open bay spacing and overhead crane system, the team chose a customized metal building over conventional construction – working together to create a finished product that both reflects the traditional John Deere brand and delivers on contemporary architectural and technological standards. Uhlman’s Midwest Erectors of Liberty, MO. served as the steel erector for the project.



HASTCO and Davidson together have constructed more than 40 John Deere dealerships, so their familiarity with the needs of an agricultural business that facilitates large and small equipment runs deep. But this particular location presented some unique challenges – including tying the exterior look into the landscape of its urban surroundings and working with a comparatively small lot. “All of the other John Deere dealerships we’ve done were located outside of city limits on lots that were at least 10 acres”, said Art Kuehler of HASTCO, “And this is the first one designed to fit into an existing city environment.”



The team chose 2Ea Star Single Slopes and DoubleLok standing seam roof and AVP wall panels, insulating the entire structure with the R-32 Simple Saver System for energy efficiency. To create a visual barrier for neighbors and passing cars, wing wall extensions sheeted in galvanized 7.2 panels were designed on both sides of the building, concealing stored equipment and maintenance operations.



It’s just another great example of ingenuity, innovation and good old-fashioned teamwork coming together to produce a result that looks great, delivers on functionality and, above all, results in a happy customer. At Star Building Systems we’re happy we can provide the products and partnerships that help make it happen.



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