In May of this year, Flagship Ford began its first major expansion in over 20 years that will nearly double its square footage. The expansion, mostly to the shop and service center, is hoped to be completely finished by March 1 of 2020 if all goes smoothly.
“We are expanding to better serve the community,” says Flagship Ford President John Buelow, “Our shop is not ergonomically friendly, it’s just a little older and more broken down which makes us a little more inefficient. Inefficiency on our part translates to customers not getting their vehicles through quick enough. So, it’s mostly for customer convenience.”
A big part of that customer convenience will be the addition of a service drive that will allow customers to avoid the weather if they come to get their car serviced. “Today, when customers come they have to park, get out of the car, walk in the building – maybe it’s raining, snowing, minus 20 – it’s just not ideal,” says Buelow, “this will be a HVAC controlled, comfortable environment for customers to pull in the garage, and avoid walking outside in the weather to get their car serviced.”
The expansion will bring the current facility from 10,500 square feet to 19,000 square feet in total and include six additional lifts for the service center, among other additions making the facility as efficient as possible. With customer convenience at the forefront of the expansion, Flagship Ford also has priorities in place for the environment and the Village of Baldwin as a whole.
“We’re even doing high-efficiency LED lights which is better for the environment,” says Buelow, “a lot of our customers like that. We’re trying to go the ‘Green’ route. We’re also re-doing the lot. We’re putting in a drainage trench for water run-off as well as a retention pond which helps with erosion control, so everything upgrades for the environment too. We are even going to be heating both shops, Quick Lane and main service center, with our own waste oil.”
With a larger modernized facility, Buelow estimates that customers from outside of Baldwin will be coming in to Flagship Ford bringing business to the community as well as providing a few new jobs through the expansion. “I would say that this will create six new positions,” he said, “as we get closer to opening the building, we’ll be hiring a receptionist, a Parts counter person and we’ll also be hiring several more technicians.”
A grand opening will be scheduled at a later date when the expansion comes closer to its completion. This large expansion, as Buelow indicated, is to better serve the community, help the environment, and benefit the Village of Baldwin altogether.