Originally created 07/10/02

Used-car dealer moving to new site in Augusta



A Thomson-based car dealer is opening a used-car lot in Augusta at Washington Road and Bobby Jones Expressway.

The dealership is expected to be open for business early next week, said Irvin Grant, the president of Thomson Motor Centre.

"The signs are being made as we speak," he said.

The Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer said he will house an inventory of 80 to 100 pre-owned cars on the one-acre parcel previously occupied by a Burger King.

The property's owner, Augusta restaurateur Jim Heaney, said he decided to lease the land to avoid a costly renovation of the Burger King building, which is about 20 years old.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but both parties described the lease as "long term."

Workers will spend this week removing the property's playground and converting the restaurant into a sales office. The dealership will be called Thomson Motor Centre's Car Connection.

Mr. Grant said he will close his company's existing used-car lot on Washington Road next to Longhorn Steakhouse and across from Sunbelt Nissan. That lot, which also was being leased, held only about 35 cars.

"We needed a better representation in that marketplace," Mr. Grant said. "This (new location) will be a lot larger and a lot more convenient."

Mr. Grant's family has operated the Thomson dealership since 1955.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or dcline@augustachronicle.com.