“We’re excited,” said Steve Watts, president and CEO of Town and Country, which has two dealership locations, one in Pell City and the other in Bessemer.
He said Town and Country Ford is currently under contract and is expected to close on the property the current Pell City dealership is located on by mid February.
Watts said a lot of details had to be worked out before Town and Country Ford committed to buying the property.
“We’re all singing the fourth verse now,” Watts said. “I’ve been pushing for this since last March.”
The car dealership is leasing the property, but will soon be the owner of the commercial acreage.
Watts said Town and Country is making a commitment to the community and plans to remain in Pell City.
He said only a portion of the property, about 2.5-3 acres, is cleared, but the total acreage is about 6.5 acres.
“We’ll be moving some more trees to accommodate for some more business,” Watts said.
He said the property line goes all the way back to the road at the back of the dealership.
Watts said sales were good last year at the Pell City car dealership, and he expects even better sales figures this year.
Watts said the construction of a new dealership facility could begin by mid-year and completed before the end of the year.
“I’m delighted to hear that Town and Country Ford is buying the property and moving forward with expansion plans,” Mayor Bill Hereford said. “They are a first-class business and the only new car dealership in the county.”
He said the owners and management team at Town and Country Ford have fit in well with the Pell City community.
“The management has really been good corporate citizens, who want to be a part of our community,” Hereford said.
He said the car dealership has also proven it is a top sales tax revenue producer for the city.
“I feel like they are going to be a greater sales tax contributor in the future,” Hereford said. “It’s a win, win for everyone.”
Hereford said Town and Country Ford is making a large “investment in our community.”
In March 2011, the council approved a resolution to help pave the way for the Pell City Town and Country Ford expansion. City officials agreed to a tax incentive for the local car dealership, if the dealership made renovations to the existing facility or construct a new facility.
Hereford said at the time, that the company would invest more than $3 million for a new or updated facility.
In accordance with the agreement, the city will split the tax revenue generated from dealership sales of more than $5 million annually for a period of 10 years.
City officials said the $5 million figure was the average annual sales for the car dealership during the past two years, 2009 and 2010.
The St. Clair County Commission also approved the agreement and will provide half of the county tax revenue generated from sales that exceed the $5 million each year when the new facility is in place.
Town and Country was founded in 1999 and moved to Pell City in December 2009. The car dealership is located on U.S. 231, just south of I-20.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.