|Groundbreaking held for new Acura dealership|
April 29, 2010
MERRILLVILLE -- Honda and Acura executives, town and business officials, even a friendly competitor, came out to welcome Merrillville's newest car dealer -- Muller Acura of Merrillville -- during an official groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday.
Construction will begin on the $5 million building just west of Schepel Buick GMC Cadillac on U.S. 30 in May, with completion expected in spring 2011, said Glenn Muller, who will be managing the newest dealership.
Muller and his father, Mike Muller, also have Muller Honda in Highland Park, Ill., and Muller Acura in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
"I hope people will see this building and say, 'I want to buy my car there'," Glenn Muller said of the 2,650-square-foot building that will be the first Gen 3 Acura concept building in the Midwest and one of the first in the country, according to the building's architect Randal M. Jostes, of Lamp Inc. in Elgin, Ill.
"You will feel more like you're in a luxury hotel, not a car dealership," Muller said. "It will have customer lounges with hotel-like lobby seating, skylights, a cafe and theater seats where you can watch a video explaining where everything is in your car."
The Mullers were chosen to open Acura's newest Chicagoland dealership among a field of 30 dealerships that expressed interest, Matt Walsh, zone manager for Acura, said.
"We talked to a lot of dealers. You were chosen for the great property you chose, the fact that your building will be state-of-the-art, but the primary reason we chose you was for your character. You go above and beyond to help the customer," Walsh told the Mullers.
Also attending the groundbreaking were the vice president of Acura sales for the U.S., Jeff Conrad, and executive vice president of auto sales for Honda and Acura in the U.S., John Mendel, who flew in from California for the event.
Tom Van Prooyen, general manager of Schepel, said he is looking forward to having the Muller dealership next door.
"They'll have a beautiful dealership. It makes this whole block a desirable place to buy a car," he said.
Dave Lasser, owner of Commercial In-Sites real estate in Merrillville, said there will be 16 car dealerships within one mile, including Muller Acura Merrillville