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Rihm Kenworth relocates to a newly renovated building

Company already seeing business expand at new location

Operating in Albert Lea since 2006, Rihm Kenworth moved to a new location in mid-December to grow the business and expand in space.

The move from its old location to 77847 209th St. has already been paying off, according to Albert Lea’s general manager John Bush. Not only did the new building increase the square footage to 27,000 square feet, it also allowed Rihm Kenworth to open a leasing and rental department, something that was not offered at the previous location. 

“Relocating to this location after 14 years meets our need for more warehouse and shop capacity, efficiency, visibility and improved employee accommodations,” said Kari Rihm, Rihm CEO and president. “We had outgrown our original space and view this move as a terrific opportunity to meet truckers’ needs on the I-35 corridor near two major truck stops.”

The new building includes 6,000 square feet of warehouse space, numerous offices, a walk-in parts department, a conference room, a break room, a customer lounge and a 12-bay service shop.

Bush said although Rihm Kenworth hasn’t been at this location for a long time, he noticed a lot of new business come in nearly right away. He said he has talked to a few customers who noticed the shop while they were at the truck stops and came over to have some work done. 

“We are seeing customers we haven’t seen before,” Bush said. “It’s already started. There’s been customers coming out of the truck stops and saying ‘I didn’t know you guys were here.’ So it’s already starting.”

As of December, Rihm Kenworth was open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, but Bush said they are hoping to expand their hours with the new building. Bush said around 10 to 15 jobs will be added once everything is in place, and the goal is to add a second shift on the weekdays as well as a full Saturday shift. 

The new dealership is the fifth new facility that Rihm Kenworth has opened since 2017, which includes two new facilities in the Twin Cities, a new dealership in Winona and a new dealership in Mankato.

“It’s just exciting to be a part of all the growth,” Bush said. “We’re proud to be a part of the Albert Lea market. It’s a great city. I’ve met a lot of really fine folks. It’s a diverse community. There’s a lot of farming, but there’s higher tech businesses as well. It’s well diversified. It’s a great area and it appears to be growing.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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