Fairway Ford has begun a massive renovation and expansion project, expected to cost upward of $1 million and to bring more cars and employees to the dealership in the fall.
The project, started April 1, will bring a new showroom, service write-up station and an expanded car wash to the 366 W. Main St. facility, said Fairway Ford partner Bob Davis.
The construction will be phased in over a period of six months, so the dealership can remain open and fully operational.
Perhaps the crowning feature of the expansion is a new showroom that will span the length of the dealership’s front side, increasing the space by about one-third and allowing the dealership to display more vehicles on the floor.
It also will have an indoor delivery area that will allow customers to hit the road once they’ve signed all the paperwork.
“They can drive their new car literally right off of the showroom,” Davis said.
A new drive-in service write-up station will accommodate four customers at a time, in a heated and cooled enclosure. And modifications to the dealership’s service space will make room for two more service bays.
The existing car wash is set to double in size, and the customer lounge will get new amenities.
All told, the project will cost between $1.2 million and $1.6 million by the time it is completed in October or November, Davis said.
Fairway Ford bid the project out to local contractors and decided on Murphy Contracting Co. of Youngstown based on its experience with renovations at area dealerships.
Greg Razo, project manager for the Canfield job, said his firm has worked on similar projects at four Pennsylvania and Ohio dealerships in the past two years, as domestic automakers have pushed to brand their dealerships in the past few years. In all those cases, dealers needed to remain open for the duration of construction, he said.
“They understand the importance of what they’re working on and that we still need to be here and open and operational,” Davis said of Murphy Contracting.
Razo said construction is underway on the service drive-in, and work on the interior renovations, service bays and car wash is set to follow.
The final piece of the project will involve demolishing Fairway Ford’s showroom and constructing a larger, flat-roofed structure in its place. During that time, Davis plans to move some of the showroom inventory for about 60 days to a small office building, which eventually will be torn down for additional lot space.
The expansion will ultimately mean more inventory and some new sales and technician positions at the dealership, but Davis could not say how many.
He said the project was a long time in the making, as the dealership has experienced steady year-over-year growth for the past 12 years.
“We kind of need this expansion,” Davis said.
According to Davis and Razo, construction started on time and is moving forward on schedule.