Iconic Warrnambool business Callaghan Motors’ plans to head west have progressed, with work expected to start on the new Raglan Parade dealership next month.
South-west building firm Bolden Constructions has won the tender to build the firm’s new multi-million dollar base on the site of the old Calco Timbers site in west Warrnambool.
Dealer principal Steve Callaghan said about 150 tradespeople would work at the site over the one-year construction, with Callaghan Motors hoping to be in business on Raglan Parade by the end of 2017.
“Warrnambool is growing – this is an indication of our confidence in the growth of the city, as well as the motor industry generally; Holden, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Mercedes Benz are all looking to invest in the market, and they too are confident the south-west is primed for future growth,” he said.
Mr Callaghan said it was likely more jobs would be created once the bigger site was operational.
“In addition to the jobs the building work will generate, we also expect to increase what we can offer our customers by increasing the services we are able to offer from an expanded site,” he said.
“We’re going from 2674 square metres undercover to just over 5000 square metres undercover. Five showrooms, compared to the three we have now. An 80 per cent increase in the number of vehicles we will have on display. Extensive parking and additional services on site will make it more convenient for our customers to use and visit us. It’s inevitable this will translate to more jobs.”
Bolden Constructions director Leigh Dufty said the company would source local labour and supplies.
“Supporting the local economy is a long-held cornerstone of our business, as it always has been for Callaghan Motors. The partnership is a good fit,” he said.
Mr Callaghan – the third generation of his family to sell cars from the Fairy Street site - said the move to Raglan Parade represented a new era for Callaghan Motors.
“We‘ve known for a long time now that while Fairy Street is where we began, if we wanted to respond to the future market, it defied common sense to stay here,” he said.
Mr Callaghan said his family all held Fairy Street in high regard and, while Callaghan Motors had outgrown the site, it now presented a unique opportunity for another business.
“It’s important to us this site continues to be a busy and prosperous pocket of Warrnambool’s centre. Those marketing the site for us understand this too,” he said.
Ludeman Real Estate in conjunction with city-based commercial agents Knight Frank will market the dealership’s current Fairy Street site – which offers 4400 square metres of land and dual street access.