Work is nearing completion on the new Bill McBride Chevrolet dealership in the City of Plattsburgh.
Brian McBride, who owns the business with his brother, Bill McBride Jr., said the original building was built in 1962.
”We felt it was time for a complete renovation,” he said.
Employment has increased
The sales department was relocated to the McBride Subaru dealership next door during the construction, and was in the process of moving back the week before Christmas.
The showroom features an open floor plan. It is well lit, with tile floors and huge expanses of windows for additional light.
From the time they opened the new Subaru dealership in 2010, the number of employees at both businesses has increased from 34 to 52.
General Motors sent a representative from a Detroit-based architectural design firm to Plattsburgh in November 2011. That firm provided a design for the contractors to follow.
McBride said Conroy and Conroy was the general contractor.
”We insisted all the subcontractors and suppliers were local,” he said.
That list includes Robert M. Sutherland, Luck Builders, Pavers and Patios, Plattsburgh Quarries, Aird Dorrance, Concrete Building Supply, Gary Cassavaugh, North Country Garage Doors, Adams Glass, Hartson Total Openings, CEI Composites, Pattison Signs, Johnson Protective Coatings, We’re Tops, Curtis Lumber, Sample Lumber, Cabinet Gallery, MDM Tile, Lee Appliance, Lockrow’s, Total Tool, Lake Champlain Roofing, Frank Dashnaw, Bob’s Instant Plumbing, E.T. Harris, Ace Electric, Prime Link and Dave Dominy.
The entire dealership is ADA compliant, with lower shelves in each department and all accesses flush with the ground.
The conference room doubles as an employee break room, with stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, flats-creen TV and whiteboard.
There are three check-in stations in the drive-in service area so patrons don’t have to step outside in inclement weather. The vehicles then move to the 11-bay service area.
Customers can enjoy plush cushioned chairs, a flat-screen television and fireplace in the waiting area. Wireless Internet is available throughout.
The service area features brand-new equipment. In addition, the floor was stripped down so a new epoxy floor coating could be applied.
A caged area will allow drivers to make after-hours deliveries without having access to the rest of the facility.
McBride said they are substantially scaling up their used-car business.
To that end, the new dealership has a room with computer systems that allow staff to monitor on-line auctions in real time. McBride said they have worked with auctions as far away as Florida and Colorado.
Pre-owned Inventory Manager Rodney Douglas said he is able to input search criteria. The seller is required by law to disclose any damage to the vehicle.
The parking lot on the south side of the building features pervious pavement. McBride described it as a Rice Krispie treat like surface that allows storm water runoff to penetrate and be collected in an underground detention basin.
That is more environmentally sound than allowing that runoff, which mixes with vehicle fluids, to immediately enter the city storm-water system.
A grand-opening event is planned for sometime in January, although the dealership is already open for business. A paved patio and landscaping will go in sometime later in spring.
McBride said it has been a pleasure to work with the mayor and the City Planning, Zoning and Building Inspector’s staff. He said they enjoy their location in the south end of the city, and the two new dealerships solidifies their presence there for the foreseeable future.
”We feel very strongly about being in this end of town. We are reinvesting in the business and the community,” McBride said.
He said they plan to start additional development at some time in the future, but it is too early to discuss those plans.
Sales increased by about 40 percent since the new Subaru dealership opened, and McBride hopes the new Chevrolet dealership will have about the same impact.
”2012 was the best year we’ve ever had,” he said.
Has long history
That is thanks to a very loyal customer base, many of whom have stayed with the business through most of its 50 years. He is pleased they will be able to offer them all the amenities they deserve.
Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak said he is extremely pleased the McBride family continues to invest in the City of Plattsburgh.
“The McBride family has a long history in the city and I am confident their success will continue in the future,” he said. “The additional jobs created, along with the family’s commitment to the city, is something we all truly appreciate.”
Email Dan Heath: email@example.com