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Archive for Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Town Talk: Subaru dealership to get new South Lawrence presence; talks to bring Chrysler dealership back to Lawrence progressing; turnout for advanced voting up over 2009 totals

March 22, 2011

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News and notes from around town:

• Look for some changes at the Lawrence Auto Plaza along South Iowa Street. The Briggs Auto Group has struck a deal to take over the location currently occupied by Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 2233 W. 29th Terrace. Briggs plans to move its Subaru dealership to the site by July, said John Pate, a general manager for Briggs. Currently, Briggs Subaru shares space with the Briggs Nissan dealership, which is across the street from the new site. Pate said its deal with Subaru called for the brand to have its own unique location.

Plans filed with the city call for Briggs to add on 1,700 square feet to the existing 7,500-square-foot building on the site to house a showroom and a full-line service department. Pate said the new building also will require several new sales and service positions to be hired.

Enterprise will be staying in the area. According to plans filed with the city, it will move to the former Jack Ellena Honda location at 2957 Four Wheel Drive, which is just around the corner from its current location. Interior remodeling of that location already has begun.

• Bigger news may be coming out of Briggs in the near future. Pate said the company still very much believes it will be allowed to re-open a Chrysler dealership in Lawrence. In October, Briggs bought the former Jim Clark Motors dealership at 2121 W. 29th Terrace, which had been the long-time Chrysler dealership for the city. But Jim Clark lost the dealership as part of the restructuring Chrysler did at the national level when it filed for bankruptcy protection. Briggs, though, was confident that Chrysler could be convinced to allow a dealership to reopen in Lawrence. Pate said Briggs is still optimistic about that. The company is in discussions with Chrysler and hopes to be able to make an announcement within a month. The former Jim Clark location would be a prime candidate to house the new dealership. Currently, Briggs uses the former Jim Clark site for used car sales.

• A big question on the minds of city commission and school board candidates is what type of voter turnout will the upcoming election produce. There has been some thought that voters may come out to the polls in larger numbers than in past years because of all the talk about school consolidation. Particularly there has been some thought that the issue would bring out more east side voters, since the schools being discussed as consolidation targets are east side facilities. If the east side turns out to vote in the upcoming election, that would be a departure from past years. The last two city/school elections have had a heavy west side influence.

Well, it is still early, but advanced voting totals suggest that scenario is possible. Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said the number of advanced voters through Monday was double the amount during the same time period in 2009. But, the numbers are still very small. The county has had 58 advanced ballots cast thus far. The numbers traditionally start to pick up significantly after spring break. That’s when we should get an indication of whether voters are more engaged this year.

Turnout has been pretty dismal the past two city/school elections. In the 2009 election, turnout was 14 percent. In 2007 it was 19 percent.

Advanced voting started on March 16. It runs through noon on April 4. The election is April 5. Shew’s office will have special advanced voting hours on April 2. Advanced voting locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, at the Douglas County Courthouse in Lawrence, the Baldwin City Fire Station, Eudora City Hall and Lecompton City Hall.

Comments

flyin_squirrel 3 years, 9 months ago

Be nice if Brigg's paid some of his old bills rather than trying to buy more dealerships....

jesse499 3 years, 9 months ago

Try reading the story it said the old Honda dealership

denali 3 years, 9 months ago

From paragraph 3 of the article:

"Enterprise will be staying in the area. According to plans filed with the city, it will move to the former Jack Ellena Honda location at 2957 Four Wheel Drive, which is just around the corner from its current location. Interior remodeling of that location already has begun."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

If you want a Subaru, say no to Briggs, and head to Figgs, in Topeka. Good folks who've been selling them for 40 years.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

When it comes to cars, there is really nothing more meaningless than "American-made."

The majority of Subarus sold here are assembled in the US.

If you buy an "American" car, there's a good chance it was assembled in Canada or Mexico, and even if assembled in the US, a goodly percentage of the parts were almost certainly manufactured elsewhere-- probably in a non-union plant.

Welcome to the race to the bottom.

Scott Morgan 3 years, 9 months ago

The majority of Subarus sold here are assembled in the US.''

I agree to certain point Just....another.... At one time drove a Chrysler made in Canada, a Nissan Truck made in Kentucky, and a Chevy made in Mexico. (early 90s) I do feel it's important to buy American when we can nowadays.

Why is Detroit dying? Where does cooperate Subaru money go?

I drive an American made (Midwest to boot) European SUV of the year (2x) and read car mag reviews it's a piece of trash here. It starts with the media. BTW......Love the vehicle.

Lindsey Buscher 3 years, 9 months ago

"Turnout has been pretty dismal the past two city/school elections. In the 2009 election, turnout was 14 percent. In 2007 it was 19 percent."

Then don't hold elections in April, hold them in November with all of the other elections.

And since the conservitards would be concerned about the majority of Lawrencites winning the day (i.e. democrats & progressives), it is much more difficult to vote along "party lines" for local elections since City/School candidates do not have to declare a party affiliation.

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