Midwest House Movers to expand at new location | Local News
LAIC sold location north of SD-34
The skyrocketing cost of lumber is changing the way people evaluate options when considering home ownership or the need for farm outbuildings. More and more people are moving instead of building older houses and barns – a boon for Ryan Arpan at Midwest House Movers.
In the summer, Arpan had two crews for the first time, leaving in different directions in the morning.
“We always move several houses a week, but that has doubled this summer,” said Arpan.
This is one of the reasons he bought land and will start a new business on the first of the year. The 12,000 square foot store will occupy 8 acres and will offer amenities that Midwest House Movers does not have in its current location – such as a 10 ton overhead crane for loading trucks.
Midwest House Movers has rented space from B&G Transportation in the Lake Area Improvement Corporation industrial park. After the new business is built, the company will move to its new location north of SD-34 between the cement plant and Highway 34 Customs, Inc. – a location that was previously intended for a prison and public security building.
LAIC announced the sale last week.
“This is a great opportunity for LAIC to work with an existing Madison company and help them grow,” said Eric Fosheim, Executive Director. “Whenever we can help a local company grow, we are happy to be part of it.”
Arpan is a second generation mover who learned the business from his father who started Arpan House Moving in the Pierre area around 1975. He moved the business to Madison 12 years ago and renamed it in 2015.
In recent years, the number of moving companies in the state of Arpan has decreased. He bought one; Another, Telkamp House Moving of Brookings, went out of business earlier this year.
“I bought a lot of things in advance and on sale,” said Arpan.
He does not attribute the decline to less business, but to a lack of interest. Both he and the owners of a sister company, Milbank House Movers, Inc., are second generation moving companies.
“You can’t go to school for that,” he said. The work is not easy either.
“It can be dangerous,” he noted.
When Brian Kern added a new building with 21 new units to the Town Area Townhomes in Lake Area, Midwest House Movers transported the structure built at Custom Touch Homes to the location in four sections. Each was 44 feet wide, 88 feet long, and weighed 150 tons.
The balance between the challenge of work and the headaches of logistics like permits and power lines is the satisfaction that comes with helping families achieve their dreams.
“When you park your house, you see their faces and it’s really rewarding,” said Arpan.
While smiling faces may not greet him when he moves an apartment complex, every time he takes the Madison bypass, he gets the satisfaction of knowing that he was involved in furnishing the new townhouses. He knows what it took to move 150 tons on the autobahn – not just once, but four times – and is proud of the work his crews do.
Arpan stated that about 40% of his work involves moving homes built by Custom Touch Homes, but about 60% moving other buildings, including older homes and barns.
“Last Thursday we built a three-story Colton barn,” he said. “We’ve built a lot of barns this year. At lumber prices, it’s actually cheaper to move a barn than to build a barn.”
He is planning an expansion under construction. He admits he had a few sleepless nights when the parts came together for his new store. Not only did he need to get the necessary variances to build, but he also had to work with the state Department of Transportation, which eventually found he didn’t need a separate approach.
“There’s a lot of space for both of us,” he said, referring to the neighboring store, Highway 34 Customs.
By doubling the space it currently has, Arpan is pleased that it can store supplies like steel girders indoors and load the trucks with the overhead crane. Since every job is different, it is more efficient to be able to work in air-conditioned conditions.
Arpan also believes that its new shop, which includes the corporate colors of silver, red and black, will be a win for the community.
“It will look very nice to sit out here on the highway,” said Arpan.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Madison Daily Leader today. Call 256-4555 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery.