June 5, 2015
By STEPHEN HUBA (email@example.com)
NEWELL-Wearing the obligatory construction helmets, Hancock County politicians and business leaders moved a little dirt and announced big hopes for the new location of Hancock County Chrysler on Thursday.
Hancock County officials broke ground June 4 on a $5.5 million auto dealership in Newell.
The new, 23,000 square foot Hancock County Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram will occupy the former Newell Memorial Stadium and take about 12 months to build. The business is currently operating from a nearby storefront.
"When's the last time we had a $3 million or $4 million investment in Hancock County?" Commissioner Mike Swartzmiller said. "It's been a long time."
Pat Ford, executive director of the Business Development Authority of the Northern Panhandle, said the region has seen unprecedented growth. "We're centrally located within a day's drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population and one-third of the Canadian population," Ford said. "The fact that people are seeing the advantages of locating here -- we have adequate infrastructure and available real estate, but it's hard to come by because of the oil and gas industry.
The dealership's custom design will include a new showroom, administrative offices, conference and training rooms, a drive-thru service/drop off area, complimentary car wash service for customers and a full-service department equipped with heavy-duty truck lifts and alignment equipment. It will feature energy-saving LED lights and the latest Chrysler branding and design.
"We have been doing great at our current location due to community support, and we greatly appreciate everyone's business," General Manager Rob Cellini said. "(We're) excited to bring this state-of-the-art facility to the community...and believe we can expand even further" at the new location.
The dealership is being built on land purchased from the BDC. Financing is being provided by the Wheeling office of United Bank.
Among those on hand for the event were owner P.J. Latsko, General Manager Rob Cellini; Hancock County Delegate Mark Zatezalo; Hancock County commissioners Jeff Davis, Joe Barnabei and Swartzmiller; Jason Costello, project manager for Jarvis, Downing & Emch, Inc., Contractors and Engineers of Wheeling; Project Design Manager Tim Crowley of Breisch & Crowley, LLC, St. Clairsville, OH; Architect Jeremy Greenwood of GreenCore Designs Inc., St. Clairsville; Ford and Assistant BDC Director Marvin Six; Tony Gentile, United Bank, and Tom Bice, Fiat Chrysler Auto.
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