Win Kelly Chevrolet Geo plans move in '95

August 18, 1994|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,Sun Staff Writer

Win Kelly Chevrolet Geo, one of the oldest auto dealerships in Howard County and a commercial institution in Clarksville for 20 years, plans to move to a new site closer to booming west Columbia in early 1995.

The dealership has received county approval to build a 31,000-square-foot building on the northwest corner of Route 108 and realigned Route 32, which state road crews are at work on now.

"This will be a great site for us. We expect 50,000 cars to pass by this site every day," said Kevin Bell, president and co-owner of the dealership with his father-in-law Winfield Kelly, Maryland's secretary of state.

The new site is directly across Route 108 from the planned River Hill Village shopping center, which will be part of River Hill, Columbia's final village now under development. By the end of 1994, more than 600 houses are expected in the village, according to projections by the developer, The Rouse Co.

Win Kelly's new dealership site will use about five acres for automobile inventory on a 45-acre site it owns. Win Kelly plans to subdivide and sell other parcels on the site.

Construction on a new $1.7 million Win Kelly dealership building and site work has begun. Win Kelly plans a January opening.

Mr. Kelly purchased the business 10 years ago. The dealership sold and serviced Chevrolet automobiles until 1989, when it added the Geo line of small, economy cars.

Mr. Bell said he and Mr. Kelly began considering moving the dealership about three years ago.

The dealership's buildings, in the 12200 block of Hall Shop Road in Clarksville, had become outdated and too small for the volume of business the dealership was experiencing, Mr. Bell said.

He and Mr. Kelly had considered several different sites in the Clarksville-Columbia area, including on the east side of Columbia.

The owners settled on the Route 108/Route 32 site because they believed it offered the best potential for increasing business and would be more easily accessed once Route 32 is realigned.

"That corner will be a major intersection in this part of the county once the realignment of Route 32 is completed," said Mr. Bell.

The site also offered the potential for attracting customers from eastern Montgomery County, which does not have a Chevrolet dealership-service facility, said Mr. Bell.

"We're hoping to pick up a chunk of the eastern Montgomery County market," he said.

The move to a larger building will result in a significant expansion of Win Kelly's staff and a big boost in inventory.

The dealer will stock about 300 new and 70 used automobiles at the new location, up from 125 new and 20 used cars stocked at the current dealership site.

The service department will triple in size.

Mr. Bell said the company anticipates adding 30 employees to its current staff of 22 when the dealership building opens.

Jobs the firm will hire for include service management, parts supply, mechanics, sales and administration.

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