The promise of a General Motors showplace at Fulton and El Camino avenues in Sacramento took a major step forward on Monday.
Groundbreaking ceremonies marked the launch of construction of new auto dealership buildings for Kuni Chevrolet Cadillac. Veteran local auto dealer Brian Castonguay said he expects the new showroom, service and parts facilities to be open in June.
He characterized the 53,000-square-foot, multimillion-dollar complex as a plus for the long-standing Fulton Avenue automotive retail corridor and the Sacramento area in general.
Weve been working on this for quite some time, said Castonguay, the dealerships general manager. Its a major step for us to commit the resources we have to this corner, and we feel that its something that benefits the Sacramento area, coming right on top of the (Sacramento) Kings deal.
In 2010, Castonguay moved his Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Saab operations from the Hubacher Auto Center at Howe Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard into former Hummer facilities once run by Mike Daugherty at 2341 Fulton Ave. After Daugherty sold his adjacent Chevy store in July that year, Castonguay set up Kuni Chevrolet at the side-by-side location, 2449 Fulton Ave., promising to build a new showroom.
At the time, Castonguay said that despite the need for larger, state-of-the-art facilities, it would be somewhat emotional tearing down a landmark building.
Over the past three years, Castonguay, the parent company Kuni Automotive in Vancouver, Wash., and General Motors have worked on the myriad details, including financing, designing the structures and securing permitting.
Its been a long process, but now were ready to go, said Castonguay, who thanked Sacramento County officials for assisting in the prolonged permitting and paperwork process on the 4.5-acre site.
Castonguay said efforts will be made to pay tribute to the massive round clock that was a decades-long landmark in the center roofline of the former Mike Daugherty Chevrolet building. When demolition work began, Castonguay said, the 50-year-old clock fell apart. It was so old that it just went to pieces. In the new facility, there will be a time element at the corner, something that ties in the past 50 years or more, he said.
Call The Bees Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.