The First Cooperative Association, with grain elevators and related facilities in 17 area towns in seven Iowa counties, recently purchased the former Holton Custom Signs building at 960 Riverview Drive just off the Iowa Highway 3 By-Pass north of Cherokee and will relocate its Corporate Office there.
The First Cooperative Association purchased the building last fall after the building's roof was severely damaged in the July tornado that struck portions of Cherokee and rousted five tenants from the facility, including Holton Custom Signs which now operates with R.J. Thomas Manufacturing as Pilot Rock Signs.
"We bought it last fall and had to get it enclosed before the winter hit," explained Jim Carlson, General Manager of First Cooperative Association in Cherokee, from the current Corporate Offices on Iowa Highway 3 north of the City.
Carlson said the Association is now in the process of remodeling the building's interior to better suit the Cooperative's needs for the large, commercial building that formerly housed Holton Custom Signs, River View Chiropractic, Fireice Firearms, Nelson Electric, and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 179. The affected businesses have since all relocated.
Carlson said he expects the remodeling and move to be done by June. The Corporate Office currently employs 13, but Carlson said that number will grow as the company continues to expand and grow.
"We've expanded considerably in the past few years and we see the trend continuing," noted Carlson.
"We are continually seeking ways to be of better service to our farmers. We've been cramped in our present location and the new building will almost double our office space to help us meet our current and future needs."
Carlson said First Cooperative Association currently employs 120 full-time and 40 part-time employees at its 17 locations, and he sees that number expanding as the company continues to grow.
The First Cooperative Association did $265 million in business in 2010 and Carlson said he expects that number to grow considerably as the Coop grows its markets in the future.
The First Cooperative Association has facilities in Cherokee, Aurelia, Marcus, Alta, Holstein, Larrabee, Cleghorn, Laurens, Linn Grove, Marathon, Meriden, Paullina, Peterson, Schaller, Sioux Rapids, Truesdale, and Webb.
All locations will be served by the Corporate Office headquartered in Cherokee.