By DAN HEATH
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Big Apple Audio owner Bill Ferris is enjoying his new location at 17 Durkee St. in the City of Plattsburgh.
Ferris bought the new location last summer. He said the store opened Oct. 1, but it was a soft opening as work continued to finish the renovations.
“We see this as a fresh start for the new year in a brand-new building,” he said.
It was nice to get the building back into operation, Ferris said. It was the last vacant building on Durkee Street.
“Just redoing this one building made a big improvement to Durkee Street,” he said.
Ferris said he was excited to own the building rather than continuing to rent.
The new showroom is extremely bright, with a much more open floor plan than the the previous location. Ferris had to close two service bays to create the showroom space.
“Everyone loves it,” Ferris said.
His employees were able to do most of the renovations on their own. That was an extensive effort, as the building was in serious disrepair.
“We did two months of intense work,” Ferris said.
The cozy waiting area features a flat-screen television.
There are now four drive-in service bays, including two equipped with automotive lifts. That’s a big improvement from the previous location where he shared one lift with a neighboring automotive business.
Big Apple Audio offers premium auto detailing, remote car starters, audio and video equipment, satellite radio, sunroofs, window tinting, cruise-control systems, spray-on bedliners, tube steps, tonneau covers, rain guard, home-theater equipment and custom exhaust accessories.
Remote-controlled car starters are a popular item this time of year, Ferris said. The new location also has a state-approved oil separator for accidental oil spills.
Ferris said they also offer mechanical work such as brake jobs, tune-ups and oil changes. He said Henry Kirk has come on board as their mechanic and will allow them to have a full-time mechanic on duty every day.
”Having the lifts and more space made that possible,” Ferris said.
Ferris said he plans to offer Krown rustproofing service starting in February. He said the company has an excellent reputation and offers a lifetime rust warranty for new vehicles, starting at $119.95.
“That’s one thing we’re very excited about,” he said.
Ferris was one of three partners in Grapevine Auto in the Airport Plaza 25 years ago. He later worked from home as he and his wife, Kristen, raised a family.
Ferris opened Big Apple Audio 10 years ago. The name is going to change to Big Apple, because the business now offers so much more than audio.
There are three full-time employees, including Ferris, and multiple part-time employees.
The new location takes advantage of high-traffic volumes on Durkee Street.
“We’ve seen a large influx of new customers in addition to our long-term clients,” Ferris said. ““I think our visibility helps with that.”
The winter hours at Big Apple are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Those hours expand to 7 p.m. on Wednesday to Friday in April.
The business accepts cash, checks and Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards.
Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak said the new location enhances downtown nicely.
“I am very pleased he has relocated his business in downtown and is also utilizing a building that has been vacant for many years,” he said. “Bill has done an outstanding job with that location and we wish him the very best.”
Email Dan Heath