published Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Mountain View move

Audio clip

Andy Watson

Mountain View Chevrolet is motoring across downtown Chattanooga where it will open Monday in a new location near its sister dealerships owned by the Watson family.

The Chevrolet store is moving from its Riverfront Parkway site to 310 E. 20th St., where it will occupy space that formerly held Mountain View Nissan.

The Watson family’s Nissan dealership last month moved into its new $6 million home at 20th and Market streets.

Andy Watson, dealer-operator of the Chevy franchise, said he’s looking forward to the shift.

“There are a lot of savings to be had by the close proximity of operations,” he said, adding that Mountain View Ford is located just across 20th Street as well. “We think the traffic is better in that area and more conducive to retail.”

  • photo
    Staff Photo by Margaret Fenton Mountain View Chevrolet co-owner Andy Watson discusses the new location of the car-dealer. Mountain View Chevrolet will relocate to E. 20th Street on Monday, consolidating the dealerships and increasing visibility from Interstate 24. Final touches are being put on the interiors of the building, including enlarging the bays in the service department to accommodate Chevy's larger vehicles.

The building at Riverfront Parkway and M.L. King Boulevard is owned by Grant Law, who ran Newton Chevrolet for many years before selling the dealership about two years ago.

Mr. Law said the property consists of two parcels straddling the parkway. One tract sits just below BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s new campus.

The other parcel is near a planned condominium-hotel-marina complex being put together by Chattanooga developer Eugene H. “Buck” Schrimpf III.

Mr. Law said he has no plans for the property right now and he’d like to sell it.

“That part of town is coming along nicely,” he said. “That’s heartening to me.”

While waiting for the right buyer and market, he’d be willing to lease the site, Mr. Law said.

The property has served as an auto dealership since the mid-1970s when Newton Chevrolet moved to the location, he said.

Mr. Watson said Mountain View Chevrolet is freshening up the old Nissan store and putting up new signs. He said there are plans to remodel the building in the future.

Mr. Watson said there will be no changes to the business despite the relocation. He said that while General Motors is dealing with its bankruptcy filing and other issues, there’s a lot of potential looking ahead.

Mr. Schrimpf wants to move ahead on an $80 million mixed-use project along the city’s waterfront.

Cameron Harbor, which would be the biggest development of its kind along downtown’s riverfront, is to hold high-end housing, a hotel, a restaurant and marina space, he said.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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