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SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Green Diamond Equipment in Summerside recently held its grand re-opening, showcasing a very different – and “safer” – facility than the original building, which was destroyed by a massive fire in 2016.
“We lost tens of millions of dollars between parts, equipment, customer equipment, and the building itself,” said CEO Tina Sears. “The old building was home to a lot of long-term and close-knit employees since it first opened in the late ‘90s, so they lost a special spot.”
Workers still remember the raging flames, sounds of popping ammunition and thick smoke that poured out from the Locke Shore Road dealership and over the city of Summerside.
Colin Pearce, the company’s corporate aftermarket manager, was home when he got the call about the fire and rushed to the site.
“I wanted to get here to make sure everyone was safe and out of the building,” said Pearce. “At that time, we had firearms in the building, and I wanted to make sure the fire crew knew that there was ammunition in the building so that their people would be safe too.”
Store manager Jeff Wood was on vacation with his wife when the devastating news broke.
“I was away travelling with my wife on a cruise and some people that were with us said the building was on fire,” said Wood. “I wasn’t too alarmed at the time because I thought it would quickly be contained, but when I turned my phone on and saw the images I was shocked.”
Despite the damage, the group was able to rebound quickly and move into a temporary Slemon Park location within two weeks, before plans to rebuild began.
“We took our time in the planning stage to make sure it was exactly right... It’s a very efficient use of the space,” said Sears. “We have focused on safety and added a fire sprinkler system, so we will not lose another building to fire. This is a state-of-the-art, re-engineered steel and concrete building, and has the safety features from both fire suppression and worker safety. It’s a beautiful spot.”
Established in 2007, Green Diamond Equipment was formed as a joint venture between P.E.I. Farm Equipment and Planter’s Equipment. In 2008, the two partners merged.
In 2012, the company purchased three additional locations and, in 2016, Green Diamond Equipment merged with Reddin Equipment. Green Diamond now employs around 300 people at 14 locations throughout the Maritime Provinces.
“The community supported us through a very difficult time and now we’ve rebuilt and are ready to continue working and growing with them,” said Sears. “We want to showcase the new facility and say, ‘thank you’ for supporting us through these hard times, and we are here to support you.”
“Despite the fire, I’ve never had any reason I would want to work anywhere else,” said Wood.
The new building houses more than 375 pieces of new and used equipment that customers can use for farming, construction, landscaping and residential needs.