SPRINGVILLE—The Emerling family of dealerships got one step closer to opening the new Emerling Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM facility with a ground breaking ceremony on Oct. 27. The ceremony signified the beginning of construction on the South Cascade Drive dealership.
“The difference between dealerships have to deal with vehicles, facilities and people,” owner Carl Emerling said. “Vehicles are almost all equal now … come spring we will have the newest and most modern dealership in this part of New York … our people are what set us apart.”
The people who work at Emerling Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, Emerling said, are the most important asset and the reason they have been in business for 80 years.
“The thing that sets us apart is our people and how they care about our customers,” Emerling said. “They’re trained and retrained … we have quality people who love the car business.”
The new facility will increase space to 40,000 square feet, an upgrade from the 10,000 square feet at the current Main Street location. The dealership will have a customer lounge with a kids’ play area, fireplace and indoor delivery area. Service bays will double to 20 with an expected increase of 25 new jobs over the next few years.
In an earlier interview, Emerling said providing the best experience for all customers is what the dealership strives for everyday, and the new facility will help them achieve that. Having community support, Emerling said, helps move the dealership forward.
“We feel very proud to be part of this community knowing that the community will support us and will support a new facility,” Emerling previously said. “We appreciate the business that the community gives us … it’s a win-win as the community supports us and we support the community.”
Congressman Chris Collins, who was on hand for the ceremony, called the expansion progress.
“I love ground breakings, I love progress,” Collins said. “[Emerling] is an example of the private sector giving back … and that will move us forward.”
Emerling bought the Chrysler Dodge Jeep and RAM dealership from Bob Johnson Motors in 2012 with his son Evan. Since then, Emerling said, they have outgrown the facility and are ready to move into the new building.
“Our current facility … we have no parking, a limited waiting room … it’s not a customer friendly place to do business,” he said. “Of course, it’s more about the people, but it’s hard to do business in a place you’ve outgrown.”
The South Cascade Drive facility will allow more space for customers and employees, which Emerling said will increase customer satisfaction. The increase in space will also allow an ability to work on commercial and heavy duty trucks as a Business Link Dealer, with Alignment Quick Check Bays. There will be better parking for customers and a bigger display area.
Emerling hoped to have the dealership open by November, but had to halt construction at the request of the State Historic Preservation Office.
The second richest family in Concord lived on the site of the new dealership, which brought in archaeologists from the University of Buffalo. Most of the items found were pieces of bricks, window glass, teapots and teacups. That was in June, and halted construction for a few weeks.
Springville Mayor William Krebs called Emerling a patient man before thanking him for his investment in the community.
“We’re here to thank [Emerling] and celebrate this great venture,” Krebs said. “You are making Springville a retail center in the Southern Tier. Thank-you for your planning, diligence and patience.”
Emerling said he hopes the “big humps” have been crested and construction will be smooth. The biggest variable now is whether, and Emerling said the construction crews are working diligent knowing they’re “on borrowed time.”
Picone Construction is the firm working on the new facility, everything from ground work to the fireplace. They join MDA Consulting Engineers and Holler Excavation. Emerling said there aren’t any plans for the current Main Street dealership, but he hopes to either sell it or lease the building. He anticipates the new facility will be operational by June.