Audi dealership to split off from Volkswagen in Hobart
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent February 9, 2013 10:56PM
Updated: March 11, 2013 6:39AM
HOBART — The Team Audi dealership at 3990 E. Lincoln Highway is planning to move a little to the east and change its name to South Shore Audi, breaking away from its shared location with Team Volkswagen.
Van Gurley Jr., owner of both dealerships, said Audi, like other car makers, wants a building for just its brand, necessitating the move.
He said the Team Volkswagen building will remain at the site.
“When this is done, that will be one big Volkswagen building,” he said.
Gurley received Plan Commission approval Thursday to locate his new Audi dealership on a 4.5-acre site at approximately 4000 E. Lincoln Highway, the northwest corner of Lincoln Highway and Underwood Street.
He is constructing a 17,000-square-foot building on the site with service bays to be located in the rear of the building in the future. Gurley said service can be done at his current building in the interim.
Gurley said the new South Shore Audi will sell both new and used Audis as well as other pre-owned vehicles.
He plans to begin construction in spring.
Sign wins approval
The Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals both approved Thursday a new, higher billboard sign at a different location at 4717 E. Lincoln Highway.
Shawn Pettit, agent with Lamar Outdoor Advertising, said the property owner requested the new sign be relocated out of the parking area because it his intention to redo the lot or add on to the existing building.
Pettit asked that the billboard be upgraded to LED and be 65 feet tall instead of the current 45 feet. Pettit said the higher sign is requested because the current one is being blocked by another billboard installed for a nearby strip mall.
The BZA said the sign could be no higher than 60 feet and no closer than 30 feet to the existing right of way.
The BZA also approved a variance request by David Payne, allowing him to keep an existing asphalt parking lot in the front yard of his home at 912 Lillian St., with the stipulation he put in arbor vitae evergreens to shield the view. The home is a former bridal shop.
Payne said he wants to keep the extra parking in the front since he has no backyard. He said there would be no outside storage.
BZA member Greg Lollis cast the only dissenting vote, saying he was worried the new owner would put a car lot there and that the BZA was setting a precedent.
Other members said they were hesitant at first to allow the variance, but became less critical as they drove by the site. It was also pointed out that no one attended the meeting to object to the variance.