The Turlock Auto Mall, located at Highway 99 and Fulkerth Road exit, currently consists of only one dealership, Smith Chevrolet Cadillac. This may change due to the fact that the Turlock Auto Plaza property was purchased at the beginning of 2011.
The closing of the Turlock Auto Plaza (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Pre-Owned Center) and Turlock Subaru was announced in December of 2008 and has been vacant ever since.
Centerra Capital, an investment and asset/property management firm from Modesto, purchased the former car dealership property in January.
Officers at Centerra Capital did not comment on the purchase price although Elvis Dias, a realtor with Century 21 M&M Associates in Turlock, said that according to the trustee’s deed, the property was lost in foreclosure and purchased for $2.5 million on January 18, 2011. The Modesto Bee reported in the article "Turlock Auto Plaza gets jump start" that there was $5.26 million in debt remaining on the property before the purchase by Centerra Capital.
The Turlock Auto Plaza property, located at 1600 Auto Mall Drive, is a 34,075 square foot facility, including service bays and a retail/showroom area with a large parking area, sitting on a 5.91 acre parcel of land.
The property acquisition did not include the Turlock Auto Plaza lighted sign off of Highway 99 as the sign sits on a different land parcel next to the Turlock Auto Plaza property.
According to the Stanislaus County Assessor Public Inquiry, as of January 1, 2010, the land previously owned by Harrington-Field LLC was assessed at $1,237,968 for the land and $2,753,309 for the structure, totaling $3,991,277 in assessed value.
Heidi McNally-Dial, Turlock Economic Development Manager, said that the property is zoned CT – Commercial Thoroughfare, which provides for a wide variety of uses designed for both the traveling public and locals.
While there are many vacant properties available in the region for such an investment as the Turlock Auto Plaza property, Centerra Capital CEO Paul B. Draper explained some of the reasons behind choosing the Turlock property over others.
“Turlock’s location in the Central Valley, and the location of this property in particular, make it ideally suited for a variety of potential uses that would find inherent advantages in the easy freeway access, excellent visibility to traffic on Highway 99, as well as being beneficial to the City of Turlock and surrounding area,” stated Draper.
As for Smith Chevrolet Cadillac, the only vehicle dealership currently doing business in the Turlock Auto Mall, co-owner Lee Smith says another dealership would be great, but that any business would be good for Smith Chevrolet Cadillac and the City of Turlock.
“Another dealership would make perfect sense, it’s in the Turlock Auto Mall,” said Smith. “I’d love to see another dealership across the street. A major import dealership like Toyota, Honda, maybe Nissan, would be good because competition is wonderful.”
“This is good in that the economy looks to be turning around; car sales are up, service orders are up, and things are going good,” said Smith.
While Centerra Capital is not sure what the property located in the Turlock Auto Mall will ultimately be used for, automotive uses are being looked at.
“Because of the flexibility of the location and layout of the property, we believe there are a wide variety of potential uses for the space,” said Draper. “We are in discussions with multiple parties at this point to explore alternative uses, including automotive.”
“Turlock City Manager Roy Wasden and I have met with Mr. Draper and assured him we will work with him in any way possible to get the property filled,” stated City of Turlock’s Heidi McNally-Dial. “We don’t have a lot of incentives but it is in the Enterprise Zone which will be a benefit to anyone locating there.”
“We are very happy with the cooperation and assistance we have received from the City of Turlock and are looking forward to placing this property back into productive use,” said Draper.
The property located at 1600 Auto Mall Drive is listed for sale by Centerra Capital property manager/agent Shannon Bates at www.loopnet.com for $3.4 million, $99.78 a square foot, and with the property type listed as retail. On the same website, the property is being offered for lease as well, at the monthly rental rate of $0.50 a square foot.