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Prince breaks ground on Ledo Road site

Ground is broken Thursday on Ledo Road in Lee County for Prince Automotive group. The company, a Chevriolet, Buick and Cadillac dealership, is currently located on South Slappety Boulevard in Albany.

Ground is broken Thursday on Ledo Road in Lee County for Prince Automotive group. The company, a Chevriolet, Buick and Cadillac dealership, is currently located on South Slappety Boulevard in Albany.

TIFTON, Ga. — Ground was officially broken Thursday on the new Prince Automotive Group property on Ledo Road in Lee County, which will become the home of Prince Chevrolet of Albany, now located at 1001 S. Slappey Blvd.

Prince Automotive CEO John Prince confirmed from his corporate office in Tifton Thursday that work had begun on the new 30,000-square-foot building that will house his existing Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac lines as well as a new GMC franchise.

"My architect tells me we should be moving into the new facility by June 1," Prince said. "I figure we'll be in there some time in June. We're excited about the new facility that's going to allow us to be much more productive in a slightly smaller space."

Prince said his lease on the Slappey Boulevard property runs out Feb. 1, but he will maintain a month-to-month lease with property owner and former dealership owner Paul Wallace until the new facility is ready.

"Mr. Wallace is a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, and he's always been a pleasure to work with," Prince said. "I don't know what he plans to do with the building once we're out, but I've offered a couple of suggestions."

Prince announced in March 2011 that he'd purchased 7.79 acres of land off Ledo Road in Lee County adjacent to the Grand Island Club. A month later he announced the purchase of Edwards Motors in Albany, combining that dealership's Buick and Cadillac lines with his Chevrolet dealership.

He said Thursday the addition of the GMC franchise adds a new dimension to his dealership that will make it more of a "superstore."

"Any time you add a new product line, you have to incorporate and understand a new line of knowledge," Prince said. "The learning curve should not be that difficult because the GMC line of vehicles is very similar to the Chevrolet line, especially when it comes to service."

The new Prince dealership will include 22 service stalls, including two Quik-Lube stalls, and will typically carry an inventory of 200 new and 100 used vehicles.

"One additional detail that benefits us is that with our Chevy/Buick/GMC dealerships in Valdosta and Tifton, we'll always have access to around 500 vehicles," Prince said.

The Prince Automotive CEO said he was not necessarily looking to move his dealership out of Albany and Dougherty County when he purchased the property on Ledo.

"I looked at a lot of property, some of it in Dougherty County and some of it in Lee County," Prince said. "This is the place that was available that gives us the kind of traffic we were looking for. I believe 25 percent of your used-car business comes from drive-by shoppers, so a high-traffic area was important.

"I'm kind of like Walgreen: I want to be on a corner with a lot of traffic. Frankly, I think our used car sales will double at the new location."

Prince said the Ledo Road facility, including property acquisition, would be a $4.3 million investment.

Prince got his start in the automotive business in Tifton in 1966, and he's expanded that empire to include Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Honda, Toyota, Ford and Mercury dealerships.

Comments

VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

We knew it was just a matter of time that they would move to Ledo road. Another Albany business leaving Albany, but it is a good move for Prince and shows a commitment to serving the Albany/Leesburg area.

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Amazed2 1 year, 5 months ago

Prince is smart tell EDC to keep your cheap money they decided to get out of crack town and stay out of the East Albany trap. Look what happened to the Dean family when they got talked into moving and building a new store Back in the Dunes. That cheap EDC money put them under. FIVE Star now owns it. Prince is moving where customers want to shop. Well at $20000 price for a cheap car thats $800 sales tax per unit for Lee County. Good Bye Albany!!!

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whattheheck 1 year, 5 months ago

And another one bites the dust. Hello Lee County! Perhaps a name change is due from Good Life City to the Good Bye City.

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ObjectiveEyes 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm not a tree-hugger, but, it is really a shame to see all of those 200 year old oak trees gone!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 5 months ago

A critical consideration in the construction or purchase of property in DoCo is the confiscatory property taxes which are destroying the incentive to own homes and businesses in this county or city. This means a lot of empty buildings and renters who care less about the quality of life in this community. Hence you get the likes of Postell, Maretta and Pike as your council representatives who only have their mouths open and their palms extended. I have a home with 4220 square feet, a 3/4 acre lot, a pool and garage with a tax bill of $4600. My sister has a home of 5200 square feet in metro Atlanta, small county like ours, a 2.2 acre lot and pool in a closed neighborhood with a 2012 tax bill of $988.00 Each have homestead exemptions. Decent schools, a single law enforcement agency, many nice features in her county. The only governmental agency left in this town that functions effectively is Water, Gas & Light. Now comes, Pike, Marietta and Postell with Me too Junior Langstaff wanting to rape and pillage it. Why Dougherty County? Why Albany?

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Amazed2 1 year, 5 months ago

Government Programs and mis-management of funds

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waltspecht 1 year, 5 months ago

The more sources of revenue leaving the County, the higher the taxes others must pay to maintain services. Now I believe anyone can figure out what is going to happen when too many Taxable resources leave the County. Drastic cutbacks won't be the first thing to happen, just look at Detroit.

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Cartman 1 year, 5 months ago

What's the difference between Albany and Detroit?

GM is still in Detroit

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bigbob 1 year, 5 months ago

Just ride around Albany & look at the houses for sale With that many houses for sale in this market should tell the fools running this city people are getting out while they can. Even though their loosing money on their houses they know it is only going to get worse in this thug invested city.

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RedEric 1 year, 5 months ago

Good grief! I agree with everything said above. I've been at this to long.

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waltspecht 1 year, 5 months ago

I hear Overhead Door is also closing up shop. I don't think they are relocating, just going out of business. That is another Tax base gone.

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