“It’s not every day the city gets to announce an $8 million investment by an existing landowner,” Mayor Scott Avedisian said yesterday. “Usually, we’re bringing someone new in but this group is choosing to reinvest $8 million into the community. This is a great announcement.”
Avedisian is referring to the Warwick expansion of Balise Motor Sales Co., one of the largest retailers of new and used automobiles in New England. The business also operates collision repair facilities.
The project, which will be done in two phases, will create 200 temporary construction jobs, as well as 45 high-quality jobs.
Headquartered in West Springfield, Mass., Balise employs more than 1,000 associates at facilities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Today at 2 p.m., a press conference will be held at the Toyota showroom at 1400 Post Road to discuss the details. Avedisian, Governor Lincoln Chafee and Balise co-owner and vice president Mike Balise will be on hand to speak of the positive impact they feel the expansion will have on the city.
“We’re very happy about it,” said Balise. “We’ve been at it a long time and we think we give our customers what they want, which is low prices and transparent transactions. When you create new facilities, it definitely creates excitement and drives customers to your locations.”
The first phase of the expansion will be the construction of a new Nissan facility beginning in July. The second phase involves the construction of a new Chevrolet facility and will commence as soon as the Nissan building is finished.
It is projected that it will take nine months to complete the first phase. Further, existing structures will be demolished.
The buildings will exist on nearly 20 acres of land in their current locations at 1400 Post Road and be set back and in line with the Toyota dealership, allowing for similar landscape, vehicle display and customer convenience.
“The Toyota building itself is fantastic,” said Avedisian. “The work that they did there showed us they want to be part of our community and they want to do the right thing. Balise has been a great partner of ours.”
While the projects are subject to permitting, as the City Council will research the overall feasibility of the project, Balise said he doesn’t anticipate any problems. Balise attorney K. Joseph Shekarchi agreed and said he is also excited about the expansion.
“If the City Council approves it, this project will be a big boost to the local Warwick economy,” he said.
Balise was founded by Paul E. Balise in 1919. Today, his grandson, James E. Balise Jr., also known as Jeb, serves as president and dealer. Balise and affiliated companies operate Buick GMC, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Scion, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen new car dealerships; the Balise Used Car Outlet in Enfield, Ready Credit Used Cars in Springfield and three state-of-the-art collision repair centers.