OGDEN -- As the walls of the old dealership came tumbling down Friday, a new $3 million showroom for John Watson Chevrolet moved one step closer to completion.
General sales manager Cory Watson sat with his family in the used car lobby at 3535 Wall Ave. while demolition machinery clawed at the 16,000-square-foot building.
The parts department, complete with a new northern entrance, will remain in service while the new 20,000-square-foot showroom -- including offices, a car delivery area and new service drives -- is constructed. Watson anticipates an August grand opening.
When built in 1968, Watson said, the showroom was enormous and "one of the neatest around." But when General Motors recently requested a facelift, the Watsons decided to dish out a little bit extra.
"It was in good shape for how old it was, but it was time for something new," said Watson, of Farr West, whose employment started at the dealership in 1991. "Today, I'm tearing down my own office."
The new facility will rise to two stories and allow more frontage for automobile parking.
"It's a big deal for Ogden. Everyone's really excited," Watson said. "It's been fun for the community to watch."
Watson said the construction project demonstrates the dealership's commitment to Ogden. Tax incentives offered by Ogden show the commitment is mutual, he said.
He said that although sales of new cars are on the rise, "a new fascia and facility will spark some interest."
The approximately 70 dealership employees will retain their jobs while service and the sale of new and used cars continues at the dealership during construction. Offices will be centralized in the used car sales center, formally the Merrill Bean Mercedes building, north of the construction site.