Quinn Motors rebuild presented to Ellsworth chamber
A new era is dawning for Quinn Motors of Ellsworth and, as the past already dims, some history has been discovered.
Meghan Quinn-Kummer of the business told Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce members Thursday how their new addition and renovation project will proceed plus reviewed developments to date. The Chevrolet-Buick-GMC dealership here is expanding while taking on a uniform appearance in accordance with the vehicles’ manufacturer’s expectations.
“Our region was being done at this time, so it was our turn,” Quinn-Kummer said of the construction, which recently got underway with a groundbreaking ceremony.
She explained the manufacturers, with input from the government, decided in 2008 which dealers to keep or not. Fortunately, General Motors (GM) decided to retain this dealership in Ellsworth.
GM officials then came forward with things they expected their dealers to do, including meet an image, she said. Although it wasn’t mandatory, it was strongly encouraged.
“An architect came from Chicago,” she said, indicating he presented plans for a rebuild.
Quinn-Kummer explained the local dealership had the option of staying at its present site or moving to property outside of town, on the way to River Falls. This was considered because that vicinity is part of Quinn’s sales region, too. However, it was decided to stay put due to Ellsworth’s past support and high degree of loyalty, along with Quinn’s prime spot across from the Pierce County Courthouse.
“Sometimes, I think it would have been easier to move,” she joked in reference to the project’s challenges.
An adjacent building most recently housing the former Hoop’s Auto Sales and its lot was acquired by Quinn Motors in December, Quinn-Kummer said. It was torn down this spring. Clean-up work around that property and the remaining structure has since been in progress.
The existing structure was built in 1865, she understood. Her grandfather bought it in 1919, when it was serving as a hotel. Construction to date has uncovered two cisterns and an old well.
“There used to be an old stable in the back,” she said.
Last week, its south wall was to come down, she said. Meantime, the service department has temporarily joined Quinn’s Body Shop at a site which was once home to the former Mark Chevrolet, roughly three blocks to the east.
The renovated and expanded facility will feature a new service department, new wash bay, large parts department, showroom, men’s and women’s bathrooms, revamped offices and a waiting area, Quinn-Kummer said. Stamped concrete on the exterior will be gone and stucco introduced. The entire project must be finished by this December.
“We’ll be open for business throughout,” she said.
Customer parking will be available in the expanded parcel made possible by acquiring the former adjacent building, she said. The existing structure is actually three levels, including the upstairs and the basement, but only the main level will be subject to significant renovation. The rest is for storage.
Quinn-Kummer confirmed the business’ employees are excited about the facility’s makeover and took the opportunity last week to identify former Ellsworth Police Chief Greg Place as a new sales representative and Jenny Hines of Calypso Salon as a new secretary.
For more please read the July 31 print version of the Herald.