Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"James Toyota begins work at new site; Company hopes to have new home in Whitman County in operation by September"

This is an exciting time in the corridor!! James Toyota is breaking ground. Hawkins and the STRATA business park will soon follow.

From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Construction at the future site of James Toyota officially got under way this week.

Jeff Hill, general manager of James Toyota, said crews began work Monday at the site on the Pullman-Moscow Highway. Plans call for a 5-acre facility that includes 385 parking spaces and a 27,000-square-foot building to house sales offices, showrooms and maintenance garages.

Hill said the company hopes to have its future home open and fully operational by the start of September.

"It's getting there," Hill said.

The company has outgrown its current site in Moscow and its new location will provide much-needed space for the company's growing inventory, Hill said.

"We just don't have any room," Hill said. "So we've got to do what we've got to do."

Whitman County building official Dan Gladwill said James Toyota was issued a building permit for the site Friday, clearing the last remaining hurdle for the development.

"They've got the green light now," Gladwill said.

James Toyota officials originally planned to begin construction last year, but winter weather hampered their efforts by the time the permitting process was completed, Hill said.

"Weather has kind of slowed us down a bit," he said.

Whitman County Commissioner Michael Largent said the Pullman-Moscow corridor is beginning to take shape. James Toyota will eventually be joined by Boise-based Hawkins Companies' 714,000-square-foot retail shopping center across the Pullman-Moscow Highway, and a proposed 15-acre business park along Airport Road.

"James Toyota is I think another piece of the corridor puzzle we are excited to see," Largent said. "We are looking forward to seeing the development progress."

Largent said the county is appreciative of James Toyota's desire and willingness to relocate to Whitman County. The increased sales and property tax revenues will benefit both the county government and its residents.

"We are very excited they decided to move here," he said.

Largent commended past Whitman County commissioners and zoning commissions for their work on drafting business-friendly zoning codes that have made it possible for businesses like James Toyota to locate in the county.

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