A car dealership on Penticton Indian Band land intended to sell Nissan vehicles is well underway, according to officials.
“We’re looking forward to an opening date of Dec. 15, and as you can see things are moving along really quickly,” owner John Kot told reporters on the construction site Friday morning.
The site is the first project being built off the Green Ave. bridge across the Okanagan River Channel on Penticton Indian Band land.
“We did look around for a lot of land, and this was the best venue, and we found that working with them was really good, so we were able to put something together for everybody,” Kot said.
Former PIB chief Jonathan Kruger said the project is looking to be one of many more on band land, with hopes to encourage more development in the future.
“This is a beautiful location along the river channel, and we have a bridge now, and we’re hoping more businesses come here,” Kruger said. “It’s going to generate jobs for not only our band members, but the City of Penticton, and businesses are going to flourish here in the future.”
Kruger couldn’t comment on any progress made to bring more businesses to the area, but said “things are looking good.”
Once the project is finished, projected for mid-December, Kot said the project will be in a place to be competitive with other local dealerships.
“We’re looking to employ about 30 employees right off the gate, and our forecast is to sell around 500 vehicles in our first year,” Kot said.
“That would be pretty comparable with, right now, with Penticton Toyota and Penticton Honda, so we feel we can, with the Nissan brand and what they have to offer, we can go head-to-head with those two brands.”
Construction began in April, according to Planview Development’s Gordon Singbeil, who said he expects to see the structure take shape in the months to come.
“The economy is really busy in the Valley with building, so we’re going to have some longer lead times than expected on some of the items, so we are probably going to be paving — we’re definitely going to be paving this year, yet, getting our floors in and hopefully getting the roof on before the snow flies,” Singbeil said.
“The finished exterior, probably by the end of November, it’s going to look real close to being the finished product, and then another month or so inside, and then we’ll be — we’re really shooting to get it done this year before Christmas. Give John an early Christmas present.”