GARDENDALE — It took only three hours and a crew of 20 people to drive 250 cars from Warrior to Gardendale on Saturday.
The cars were the current inventory at Dewey Barber Chevrolet, which opened for business at its new location in Gardendale on Monday.
To celebrate the grand opening, the dealership will host a ribbon cutting and grand opening on Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is invited.
The dealership closed up shop in Warrior after receiving incentives from Gardendale to relocate.
In addition, General Motors was going to require Dewey Barber Chevrolet to do drastic upgrades to its Warrior site, which were not cost-effective for the business.
Scott Barber said it has been a 2½-year process to buy the land and get the dealership built and open.
He said he is thrilled that the business moved to Gardendale, in part because the Barber family lives, worships and has other business holdings in the city.
“Everything we do is community oriented,” Barber said, adding that the business hired a local construction company, contractors, landscapers and other local businesses whenever possible.
In addition, he said, the dealership is now closer to its customers.
“Sixty to 70 percent of our business is repeat and referral business,” he said. “This is a good fit for us. We encourage local folks to come out and see (the new facility).”
Dewey Barber Chevrolet had no say in the design of the new building; Barber said all new dealerships are getting the same design. However, he said Dewey Barber added some “extras” that were not required, such as landscaping and additional outdoor lighting.
“If people come to look at cars at night, they will have plenty of lighting,” Barber said, adding that the former property had dark spots in some areas of the parking lot.
He said many of the 45 employees also gave input about certain design features in their work spaces.