Vaden advances plans to build new dealership

emoody@beaufortgazette.comOctober 17, 2011 

  • In other business, the commission:

  • Denied the rezoning of the front 4.82 acres of Wright's Point Plantation off of Parris Island Gateway at Wright's Point Drive. The proposal was for a change from mixed-use to highway commercial. Several residents spoke against the change, saying they bought homes in Wright's Point with the expectation it would not become a major commercial area.

  • Approved proposed changes to the height and placement of buildings on lots for the Bladen Street project.

Vaden Automotive Group of Beaufort is a step closer to moving its dealership after receiving two votes of approval Monday from the Beaufort-Port Royal Metropolitan Planning Commission.

The Buick, GMC and Chevrolet dealership won't be going far -- just down the road from its home at 2811 Boundary St. to the former O.C. Welch dealership at 103 Robert Smalls Parkway.

The commission approved the annexation of the property into Beaufort and its rezoning. Beaufort City Council must also vote on the requests.

Plans call for demolishing the former O.C. Welch Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership to make room for a larger building that could include a cafe and children's play center.

City planning director Libby Anderson described the property as a "doughnut hole," because surrounding properties are already in city limits.

Vaden Automotive Group moved to Beaufort in 2009 and currently rents the former Parks Automotive Group's General Motors dealership.

The company sees the move as a big step forward.

"Our biggest thing is we want the citizens of the city of Beaufort and the citizens of Beaufort County to be proud to walk in, and we want them to be happy when they walk in," general manager Shane Gault said last week.

"I want the building to flow," Gault added. "I want it to be very transparent for the customer. I want it to be a lot of glass. I want the customers to be able to see their cars being worked on."

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.

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