DERBY – Crews demolished a local landmark yesterday.
Sales personnel, office staff, and other employees from Northpoint Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram watched as Sanville Excavating demolished the front of the building that for decades served as the showroom, offices, service write up area, and customer waiting area for what many people have known as Mulkin Automotive.
By early March, the dealership will have a new showroom, delivery area for vehicle purchase, and a service drive-up customer area. The back of the building, which houses the body shop and service area, will remain intact and open during construction. Auto sales and other staff will also remain on the job during construction.
“We’re excited about the new facility and we’re excited about being in Derby,” said owner Ronney Lyster. He is pleased that all local contractors are working on the project. Lyster’s firm purchased the dealership from Jim Mulkin in 2010. Project officials have been working about a year to get to this point. “This has been very well planned out.”
Lyster believes the former building was outdated. Lyster’s company has an image it wants to project that started with the installation of a new sign. “We wanted to make sure people knew what we sold and what we serviced,” said Lyster. There are no indications that Northpoint Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram will bring back the General Motors franchise or any other franchise.
“All of the manufacturers want stand-alone facilities.”
The days of having more than one manufacturer under the same roof are gone, Lyster said. However, he might consider having a different franchise at some other location.
“We’re in it for the long term,” he said of his current construction project. “This is a real indication of that. This is a major investment. We think it is the right move.”
The neighborhood around his dealership is getting a makeover, Lyster said. This includes the reconstruction of a commercial building next to Lyster’s dealership.
Spates Construction is the general contractor for the job. Sub-contractors include the following: All Metals Recycling, Mario Paul Excavating Inc., Gate’s Electric Inc., R.G. Gosselin Inc., Reliance Steel Inc., Walls Unlimited, Burrell Roofing Company Inc., Morrison Clark Inc., North Country Fire Protection, Fred’s Plumbing & Heating Inc., and Sanville Excavating.