Bobby Layman Chevrolet has Grand Reopening
Bobby Layman Chevy showroom gets smell of new – and more cars
by Dan Eaton, Staff reporter- Business First
Bobby Layman Chevrolet hasn’t moved from its jingle-immortalized address, but it has a new look.
The auto dealership at 3900 W. Broad St. in Columbus is debuting its new showroom and administrative offices Friday, showing off the newest design from its supplier General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM)
“Instead of renovating, it made more sense to just take it down and build new,” General Manager Ben Stroup said. The previous showroom was 34 years old.
Stroup said the old showroom’s quirky design, which owner Bobby Layman spotted at an Arizona dealership, gave the business an upscale look. Layman was unavailable for this report, but Stroup said the change has been bittersweet.
Mr. Layman loved that building,” said Stroup, who has been employed by the company since 1983. “It was his home.”
Renier Construction Inc. was the general contractor. Architectural Alliance Ltd. handled the design.
Renier President Bill Heifner said the dealership considered moving, but decided to stay after the Hollywood Casino Columbus site was secured.
Good thing it didn’t leave.
“People still come in here singing the jingle,” Stroup said. “3-9-0-0 West Broad still resonates.”
The focal point is of the showroom is its blue arch, Stroup said, and at 27- by 40-feet the dealership has the largest one under the GM plans. The 17-acre site is now home to an 11,000-square-foot showroom in addition to nearly 4,000 square feet of offices. The dealership’s redesign includes a new customer lounge with improved furniture and a stone fireplace. The showroom is larger and there is space for 20 more vehicles next to the building. Heifner said the building is more energy efficient.
There were renovations elsewhere, including a reconfigured service drive, and improvements inside the 26,000-square-foot service center, but the bulk of the work was on the new building.
The project started in August.
The reopening is welcome for another reason: Sales departments and offices were confined to trailers on the dealership lot while the old building was demolished and the new one was built.
“You can’t just go in and turn the lights off,” Heifner said.