Robin and Matt Wilke

ROBIN AND MATT Wilke, owners of ASPM Landscapes in Norfolk, stand outside of the company’s new headquarters on East Omaha Avenue in Norfolk. The business formerly operated from a spot near Off Road Speedway but now has room to grow at its new location.

ASPM Landscapes is now operating out of its new headquarters.

Owners Matt and Robin Wilke said the new location and expanded facility at 2501 E. Omaha Ave. in Norfolk allows the company an opportunity to comfortably grow.

“We had completely outgrown where we were,” Matt Wilke said. “If we were going to stay there, we were going to have to downsize. Not expand. That’s not for us. We’d rather keep expanding.”

The business, which has operated in Norfolk since 2012, announced plans to build a new facility and move from its previous headquarters — which it still owns and utilizes — near Off Road Raceway on Old Highway 8 in Norfolk last fall. At the time, the full-service landscape construction company had operated out of modified Conex boxes.

“The guys didn’t have anywhere to gather and talk about the day coming. They would have to stand or sit on a bucket,” Robin Wilke said.

The company’s equipment was exposed to the elements in the old location and no space was available to store additional product used by the company, as well.

Now, the new headquarters includes a two story facility that offers spacious office areas for its designers and other employees. It also offers enough space for product and equipment storage, which will provide an added benefit as snow removal season arrives.

“The loaders — everything — will be inside,” Matt Wilke said. “If you start pushing snow at 2 a.m., I had to be out there at midnight to make sure the machines were running. Those days are gone. That will really make it nice.”

The new location also provides better accessibility for the larger equipment used by ASPM Landscapes, including side dumpers, which recently were added to the business’s arsenal of tools as it expanded its grading, seeding and erosion control capabilities.

ASPM Landscapes is now working on building its workforce to accommodate the company’s growing clientele list. In the past year, the business hired an additional landscape designer and a field manager. With the expansion of its maintenance division, Matt Wilke said he would like to add another landscape field manager, maintenance lead and crew.

“We’re in the process of staffing correctly to take on the influx,” Matt said.

The construction of its new headquarters did provide its share of challenges, the biggest of which came last March, when floodwaters from the nearby Elkhorn and North Fork rivers spilled out of their banks and forced the Wilkes to leave the former ASPM property in a loader.

“It was over the front tires of our big loader,” Matt Wilke said of the water.

The Wilkes said water, mud and muck from the flood was everywhere — in the basement, the office, the shop — when they returned, and it took a lot of work to get everything cleaned up and back in working order.

“Thank God for insurance. A week earlier I was cussing insurance premiums, but thank goodness we have it because it did ease the blow,” he said.

Matt Wilke said the event provided unnecessary stress in an already hectic time for them and an even bigger reason to be grateful for the new location for their company headquarters.

“The sky is the limit now,” he said.

In other news

Two speakers at the Nebraska Farmers Union state convention at Divots Conference Center on Friday afternoon offered visions of the future of Norfolk and Nebraska, one highlighting positive change and another painting a potentially grim outlook.