Holt Cat has broken ground on its future 85,000-square-foot sales, rental and parts facility off Airport Road, north of the Lakeway Drive and I-35 intersection in Georgetown.

Company officials joined city staff and elected leaders Tuesday to celebrate the start of construction on the facility, which is the largest retail location the company has built in 30 years. Construction is expected to finish by mid-2019, said Peter Holt, the company’s CEO and general manager.

Holt said his company has long been seeking a location for a new facility north of Austin.

The San Antonio-based company has been in the Austin area since 1954. The company sells and services Caterpillar equipment and engines and has locations in Austin and Pflugerville.

Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said Holt Cat is a perfect match for the city. Ross said the new facility is expected to generate a net benefit of up to $16 million to Georgetown over the next decade.

“Holt Cat is a wonderful addition to our business community,” Ross said.

Georgetown City Council approved an economic incentive deal with Holt Cat in January 2017. The company is expected to create 130 jobs and have a minimum of $35 million in sales per year starting in the second year of operations through the sixth year, according to the agreement.

If Holt Cat meets expectations, Georgetown will offer a sales tax rebate of up to $2 million over five years. City Council also approved a $185,000 grant to connect a future wastewater line extension to the Holt Cat property. The extension will serve nearby commercial property, as well, according to the city.

Holt Cat's facility, which will include a minimum of $20 million in infrastructure improvements during construction, will employ heavy-equipment mechanics along with administrative, sales, and marketing professionals. The average annual salary for a future employee at the facility is anticipated to be $48,500, according to the city.

Georgetown City Manager David Morgan said the city expects to see additional commercial development in areas surrounding the future Holt Cat facility, which is near the Georgetown Municipal Airport.

Morgan noted that the city and the company maintained a strong partnership while handling the planning and incentive process for the new facility, a process that took about four months to complete, a timeline Morgan said was far shorter than the time it usually takes to work out details for such large-scale projects.

"This is a great example of what the private sector and the public sector can do by working together," he said.