Ford Dealership Coming To Espanola?
The Espanola City Council voted to approve an ordinance of sale for 6 acres of city owned land during their last council meeting, Monday, Feb. 1, paving the way for a return of a Ford car dealership to the Espanola area.
The proposed sale would transfer the land immediately behind Washington Federal Bank on Fairview Drive to the Krumland Auto Group, operators of the Rio Grande Ford dealership in Roswell.
Tom Krumland, with the Krumland Auto Group told the Valley Daily Post that during the past several months his company has been examining the possibility of opening a Ford automobile dealership in Espanola. Krumland explained that his company was approached by Ford and asked to consider developing a dealership in the area. Over the past several years Ford dealers in Espanola, Taos and even Las Vegas have closed their doors leaving northern New Mexico with only Santa Fe dealerships to serve the growing market.
Patrick Nicholson, Planning and Land Use Director for the City of Espanola said in a telephone interview that the parcel in question is actually 7.9 acres in size so the city would conduct a split and retain the 1.89 acres closest to the river. A recent appraisal of the land done for the city placed the value of the 6 acres at $950,000. Nicholson stated that upon closure of the sale that the council would consider a resolution to dedicate a set amount of the proceeds to the development of a new “gateway park”. This park Nicholson said he hopes will be the start of a trail system along the river.
City Manager Kelly Duran stated “Over the past 18 months Espanola has seen more economic activity than in the last ten years, with the opening of several new stores and restaurants. This new car dealership would be the biggest development yet.”
A new car dealership would create several new jobs, with Krumland estimating
Between 30 and 50 jobs in the first year. Nicholson said that the new dealership is estimated to create a minimum of 27 new jobs, all above minimum wage in their first twelve months.
Krumland said of the process that the city staff has been very hospitable and they look forward to Rio Grande Ford becoming an active member in the community. He said hopes to complete construction and open their doors in mid to late 2017. Nicholson said that they city hopes to close the sale of the land within sixty days.