Chico, Calif. -- The Chico Nissan Hyundai on Manzanita Avenue is undergoing some major renovations, and this year the dealership will build a brand new, state of the art facility.
This project is supposed to take a year to complete, and it will be a busy time for the dealership because they will still be open during construction.
The dealership has been locally owned and operated for more than 50 years.
“Everything we see here is all going to get redone: all new lights, state of the art building, we're going to tear down the old showroom, redo the service area,” said Project Manager Brandon Slater.
On Wednesday morning, the dealership held a groundbreaking ceremony, with the golden shovels signifying the beginning of the project.
Slater said the designs have taken about 6 months, and pretty much of the lot is going to get redone. He said when it's done, it will look nothing like it does now: it will be very clean and modern looking with lots of glass walls.
“Kind of more like the modern airports you go to, very spacious, wide open a lot of tall bars with iPad counters so you can design your car,” said Owner/CEO Brian Bowen.
He said they're also splitting the dealership apart: Nissan will stay where it is, and Hyundai will move down the street where the current Subaru dealership is, which he bought from Courtesy Automotive.
Bowen is very excited for the project, which is definitely not a small thing.
“It's more than double what I would have thought in my wildest dream. It's a $4 million project, and we own the property and we own the buildings,” he said.
The dealership also does a lot for the community of Chico, the Almond Bowl being one of their biggest events.
Every year, they donate a car to raffle off at the Chico High vs. Pleasant Valley football game, where the proceeds go to support athletics at both schools. He said they've raised more than $1 million in the past 6 or 7 years.
Slater said this is one of their higher profile projects because it sits on a very busy intersection in Chico, and thinks this will help spruce up and modernize the area.