Three-dealership auto mall set in south Reno |

Three-dealership auto mall set in south Reno

Judith Harlan

The corner of Highway 395 and South Virginia Street, home of a new In-N-Out and the Sierra Home Center, is about to get even more action,with the addition of the Allison Automotive Group’s new 5.85 acre, three-dealership auto mall.

A Saab dealership will be the first to open, on Oct.

4,working out of temporary quarters on the property while its permanent, 15,000- square-foot showroom and service facility is under construction and scheduled for January 2005 completion.

The names of the other two dealerships to be located on the site are not yet being released, except to say that they are “two franchises not currently represented in this market,” according to Wayne Allison, the auto mall’s developer and soon-to-be general manager of the new Saab dealership.

Each of the three dealership spaces will be designed in the dealer’s individual style, says Chuck Matetich of Archidea Architects, the design firm on the project.

The design of Allison’s Saab dealership, provided by Saab, reflects the car’s Swedish heritage,with a clean, glass-filled fa ade.

The new auto mall was a few years in the making, says Allison.He and partner and wife Gail Allison, the dealer principal, sold their Mountain View, Calif., BMW dealership (Allison BMW) in 1999 to AutoNation.

They then moved to Reno and began scouting the dealership market.

That took a while.

“I couldn’t get the other dealerships in town to sell,” says Allison.

So he went into development.He opened Ultimate Detail, an automobile detailing shop, four months ago.

And, he bought the high-profile acreage by Highway 395 at South Virginia.

“We found the property in January of this year, and it was purchased at the asking price,” says Floyd Rowley, the Colliers International agent representing Allison.”Since then, the value has gone up.” Rowley says that the past several months have seen a land grab in commercial property along South Virginia, from Highway 395 to Mount Rose Highway.

The property includes, in addition to the three dealerships, a stand-alone hand car wash and car detailer.