Large automotive service center coming to 23rd Street; Lawrence-based Allen Press names CEO

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World photo

Construction crews work on a new quick-service auto center at 814 W. 23rd St. on Monday, July 19, 2021. Laird Noller Automotive plans to open the center this fall across the street from its Ford dealership.

When you drive a vehicle as leaky as mine, a quick-service oil change is the only option. (If it took too long, you would have to change it twice.) Hopefully that is not your situation, but regardless a large quick-service automotive garage is coming to 23rd Street.

Laird Noller Automotive confirmed it has started work on a new automotive garage at 814 W. 23rd St., which is across the street from Noller’s Ford dealership.

The Ford dealership currently offers a quick-service oil change, tire rotations, brake jobs and other such maintenance tasks. However, that quick service lane can serve only a couple of vehicles at a time. The new location will have about 12 to 15 garage bays devoted to quick-service work, said Abigail Cage, marketing director for Laird Noller Automotive.

“We have sort of outgrown what we have,” Cage said. “What we’re building will be a giant quick-service facility to really better serve our customers.

Work is underway on the facility, which has been owned by Noller for years. In the past the building — it is next door to KFC, if you are having a hard time picturing the location — has housed some overflow vehicle inventory and also has been an auto body repair shop.

The decision to make it a state-of-the-art quick service location came because the dealership continues to see more people who want to get basic work done on their autos without having to make an appointment, Cage said.

“Having a ton more bays and a ton more technicians should allow us to service walk-in customers more efficiently and quicker,” Cage said.

Plans call for the new quick-service location to be open by early October. The Laird Noller Ford dealership, located on the south side of 23rd Street, will continue to have a full-line service department that does all types of warranty work and other major repairs to Fords and other vehicles that Noller sells.

The quick-service business will focus on “pretty much anything maintenance related,” such as oil changes, tire work, alignments, brake work, fluid replacement and other such tasks.

“It will be for all makes and models,” she said. “If you have a Toyota, no problem. If you have a Mercedes, no problem.”


In other news and notes from around town, a longtime Lawrence company has a new leader.

Allen Press, an international publisher and printer of scholarly journals, announced Monday that Mark Kohlhase has been named chief executive officer of the company, which has its headquarters and printing plant in East Lawrence.

Kohlhase has served as interim CEO of Allen Press since January 2020. Prior to that, he was a vice president of Allen Press and has worked at the company for about a decade in a variety of editorial and composition roles.

In a press release announcing his hiring, Kohlhase said he planned to keep Allen Press focused on its core competencies of commercial printing — it serves as the printing plant for several regional magazines — and scholarly publishing services.

The company long has printed and managed a variety of scholarly journals for academic organizations. Those often are the type of peer-reviewed journals that publish research from professors and other academics across the world. The Lawrence company employs everybody from printers to copy editors who produce those journals and other such works.

The company years ago got into the online publishing of those journals, but still does a significant amount of work in producing printed versions of the journals. The company said “recent technology upgrades and long-term partnerships” have put the company on a strong foundation to continue as commercial and scholarly publishers.


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