FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2017
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
LAWRENCE S. SEARCY, JR.
WALKER AUTOMOTIVE ANNOUNCES CONSTRUCTION OF ITS REMODELDED TOYOTA FACILITY
Walker Automotive is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of its remodeled Toyota facility at 5735 coliseum Boulevard in Alexandria, Louisiana. The renovation will add almost 14,000 square feet to the existing structure doubling the size of the overall footprint.
In the service department will add eight new service bays that are larger and wider than the existing service bays to provide an enhanced working environment for the technicians and double the capacity of the number of vehicles Walker Toyota can service daily. Additionally, the showroom space will be enlarged by more than 5,000 square feet to allow for more interior display and an enhanced customer experience in both the sales waiting area and the service customer lounge.
“This new facility will enable us to serve our customer base better with m ore service bays, and more room in the showroom.” Said Foster Walker, President of Walker Automotive. “We have made a substantial investment in the Highway 28 West / Coliseum Boulevard corridor and with the Rapides Coliseum remodel just finishing up we believe that this building will continue to enhance the area of Versailles Boulevard and Coliseum Boulevard” Walker continued.
The remodeled facility will be built in accordance with Toyota’s Image II USA program which calls for the outside of the building to be clad in aluminum composite panels centered by the Toyota lighted portal structure typical of all Toyota facilities throughout the country. The interior finishes will add a soft customer friendly atmosphere throughout the building with the back showroom wall highlighted by local historical murals above the offices.
“We are increasing space and therefore the number of employees that we will need to staff the new building. We will bring all of our existing employees but also plan on adding additional sales and service staff before opening.” Walker said.
The building designer and architect is Redline Design Group of Charlotte, North Carolina. Red Line is an automotive specialist with Toyota and is recognized in the industry as an expert in dealership planning, design and consulting. “Toyota has exacting design standards for their facilities which required a design firm that was accustomed to working with Toyota. Redline’s experience enabled us to clear hurdles quickly and efficiently to get the building under way.” Walker said.
The general Contractor is Ratcliff Construction of Alexandria, Louisiana whose projects in the area include large commercial buildings, casinos, and hospitals and the recent renovation of the Rapides Parish Coliseum.
The timeline for the construction is nine months and should be completed by Early November 2017. “We will be required to operate out of temporary sales trailers for a few months so we would beg the customers indulgence during that period of time. We do not expect any interruption in business other than a little noise on the site as we continue to serve our customers to meet all of their Toyota Automotive needs during construction,” Walker said.
Walker Automotive acquired the Toyota and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram franchises from the All Star Automotive Group in 2015. “The Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Building is only a few years old,” Walker Said, “and the Toyota renovation will be in concert with other recent facility upgrades to include the Mercedes Benz and BMW building a few years ago and a recent renovation at Walker Buick GMC.” “We believe in serving our customers in the best way possible and updated and renovated facilities are things our customers expect.” Walker said.
Walker was founded in 1919 as Alexandria Auto Company, Inc. by Foster Walker Sr. Over the last 9 decades Walker has won numerous national and factory awards for all aspects of its business. Walker Automotive offers new and pre-owned vehicles ranging from quality entry level models to German luxury vehicles.