Back in May, Robbie Blaschke, general sales manager of the dealership, said the project to remodel and renovate the dealership at 308 N. Alamo Street, would be finished around the first of September and cost about $660,000.
The amount of re-investment in Refugio qualified for a five-year tax abatement.
But unexpected problems with the flooring and a punch list of other things changed those plans. And the project cost soared upwards to $900,000-plus.
“The floor was not level and caused some issues. We busted up tiles twice,” Blaschke said.
He said the ceiling was dropped in the showroom.
“We have recessed lighting that covers up that old 1970s insulation,” he said.
Blaschke said the old insulation looked like asbestos, but it wasn’t.
“We have proof it was not asbestos from tests we took,” he said.
One of the positive things about the renovation project was that the contractor—IAM Construction of Plano—used local subcontractors.
Harvey Dierschke’s Service Junction, Charles Cromwell’s Hard Core Supply and Glen Boenig, who helped with data cabling, all benefitted from the project.
“Thank goodness he had some locally. It saved some money,” Blaschke said.
The project now finally is coming to an end.
Blashke said a grand opening is scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22. The public is welcome.
Visitors on Friday will see a 60-inch flat screen TV, coffee bar, snacks and soda machines, as well as comfortable chairs in the customer waiting lounge.
The magnificent showroom, front facade and new signage outside all make the dealership a welcoming oasis along Alamo Street.
“We are still waiting on some signs – customer service, auto parts and others for inside – plus some display stations,” he said.
Blaschke said he is pleased with the renovation, even if it did take longer and cost more.
For Blashke, the old saying, “The best things in life are worth waiting for,” is appropriate now.