The Collection Auto Group and Volkswagen of America hosted a ceremonial ground breaking ceremony for its planned dealership on S.R. 14 in Streetsboro on Monday.
Mayor Glenn Broska said the occasion was "truly a great day" for the city of Streetsboro.
"Developing this property into a Volkswagen dealership is a great thing for the city," he said. "I look forward to a great partnership between The Collection Auto Group and the city of Streetsboro."
Bernie Moreno, president and owner of The Collection Auto Group, said plans for the new Volkswagen dealership began two years ago. He said the new facility would not be the only one in Streetsboro. The auto group also bought Classic Nissan (now Nissan of Streetsboro) and has plans to buy Classic Kia.
"We don't really like to have just one dealership in an area," he said. "They get lonely."
Jeff Martin, president of Geis Co., said the construction schedule is "aggressive." An October opening is planned.
"You'll see a lot of dirt moving here," he said.
Moreno thanked Broska and his administration for helping to bring the plan to fruition.
"Nothing would have happened without his leadership and guidance," he said. "This is really an exciting plan for a lot of people to come here."
Bob Buck, a regional fixed operations manager with Volkswagen, said he likes the dealership's location.
"We are very excited to have a Volkswagen dealership here," he said. "We're quite happy with the location."
Broska said about 55,000 vehicles pass the S.R. 14 site each day.
John Appleby, who will be service manager at the dealership, said the facility will likely keep an inventory of about 300 cars, and would include nine service bays and sell new and used vehicles. The general manager of the dealership will be Liz Watson. Watson and Appleby both work at Collection Volkswagen of Hudson, which will close when the Streetsboro dealership opens.
Attending the event were the mayor, a variety of officials from The Collection Auto Group, Volkswagen, Geis Co., the Streetsboro Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as State Sen. John Eklund, who thanked The Collection Auto Group, Geis Co. and the city of Streetsboro for working together well for the benefit of all.
"Thank you for believing in Ohio, and thank you for believing in Ohioans," he said.
Streetsboro City Council is still considering approval of an amendment to the integrated business plan in the area of Shady Lakes Apartments, which the new Volkswagen store is a part of.
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens