Several successful Charlotte car dealers are strengthening the local economy and the commercial construction industry by upgrading dealerships. New facades and the addition of upscale customer areas that include coffee bars and internet service are all a reflection of the success that local auto dealers are experiencing. At least one local dealer has plans to build an auto mall that will include larger showroom areas and increased customer services.
While the number of commercial building permits issued in Mecklenburg County last year rose over the previous year, the 5,517 permits issued in 2010 is still less half of that seen during Charlotte’s boom days, according to the Charlotte Observer. Most permits, roughly two-thirds, were issued for renovations rather than new buildings, continuing a shift that emerged last year.
The auto industry has always been a key part of Charlotte’s economy and its continued growth is fueling the growth in local commercial construction. Growth is visible on “auto row” along Independence Boulevard from Charlotte center to Matthews.
Scott McCorkle’s Liberty Buick GMC Trucks is one of many dealerships that are upgrading their facilities. According to Scott McCorkle, “The building just has to reflect the upscale service you get inside.” McCorkle is excited about the construction project underway at his dealership on Independence Boulevard. The new showroom includes a coffee bar, an internet bar and plush carpet in the reception areas. The goal is to highlight the luxury details of the new Buick line of cars and bring awareness to customers regarding the premier services.
“Our customers are doing better and we want a first class building to match our first class service,” says McCorkle.
Local business giant Hendrick Automotive Group was issued a permit for a new Auto Mall in 2003. According to Alysia Osborne at the Charlotte City Planning & Zoning Department, construction has begun on the 48.79 acre project. It will have 315 square feet of retail space with a customer center in the middle of the facility when completed says Osborne.
The AP reports that a typical showroom improvement can cost from $2,000,000 to $15 million. Dealers are adding leather chairs, special lighting, hair salons and food bars to create a nicer experience for buyers and service clients.
In addition to providing an increase in construction, these luxury dealership additions create an increase in the consumption of local products and services. This translates into a healthy boost for the local economy. Read More.