Dealership Overhaul Features Expanded Showroom & Smoother Flow
New horizons have been opened up for long-established Bend auto operator Robberson Ford after a comprehensive $4.38 million expansion and renovation project which has seen the dealership’s Third Street facility revitalized with an enhanced modern sales showroom, administrative office and customer support areas to better serve a loyal and growing customer base.
President Jeff Robberson, following in the footsteps of his late father Gordy – who founded the dealership in downtown Bend in 1957 – said during ongoing Grand Opening celebrations that while it may have been viewed as an easier proposition to build from the ground up at an alternate site, the ambitious remodel of the 2100 NE Third Street property the business has occupied since 1972 demonstrated, “A long-term commitment to the community, to reinvesting in the continued revitalization of the Third Street neighborhood and to providing a state-of-the-art operation in a central, easily accessible location”.
He added, “I grew up in an older established neighborhood in Bend with strong ties to the community, and similarly this location is part of our business neighborhood. When we moved here this was the extremity of Third Street’s north end and it proved to be a super spot as the town grew around us.
“With the expansion project, we wanted to play our part in the revitalization of this key corridor, emphasizing communities and businesses remaining where they are, building on a legacy and ‘walking the talk’.
“Also, a large part of our business is in auto servicing and we wanted to stay in this central location, which is pretty much accessible within ten minutes from anywhere in Bend, to continue to provide convenience and accessibility for our customer base.
“It has been a challenging but exciting project and it is great to see the vision come to fruition, which is also a tribute to a wonderful team effort.”
As part of the renovation, overseen by Kirby Nagelhout Construction and designed by BBT Architects in conjunction with Ford in adherence to latest company showroom standards, cutting edge technology has been accommodated in areas such as service diagnostics for a team which has a higher ratio of qualified ‘master technicians’ than any other Ford dealership in the state – a factor which has also played a part in the group winning Ford’s prestigious President’s Award several times, including the last annual cycle – despite the logistical challenges of the construction schedule – in recognition of outstanding customer satisfaction.
Highlights of the project include an expanded waiting lounge area and showroom with each salesperson now having a private office, additional parts, service and support capabilities including service desk and bay featuring the deployment of latest technology, and a new enclosed vehicle delivery area where customers can pick up their purchase and be briefed on vehicle operation particulars.
The main building, which went from the previous 6,000 square feet structure to just over 15,000 sq ft, now also has a full second floor including administrative offices, a training room and kitchenette, as well as an elevator and ramp access from the parking lot into the showroom.
Part of the new design also incorporates wider sidewalks and additional electric charging stations for the newer generations of energy efficient vehicles.
Robberson said there was a strong emotional connection to the location – from which over 62,000 cars and trucks have been delivered – and numerous nods to the dealership’s roots are in evidence throughout the new facility, including salvaged beams from his father’s original design being retooled and utilized in a conference table, as well as photographic and artwork illustrations depicting the company’s evolution over some six decades, and the showcasing of High Desert landscapes captured by local photographer Loren Irving.
One picture gallery area is also devoted to employees with 10-plus years of service, which Robberson is proud to say incorporates almost half of the current staff, including the service manager, who was hired on his 16th birthday and now has racked up some 35 years with the dealership.
He added, “One of the biggest joys is working with the outstanding people we have. They are a lot like family and we have a great support system.
“They are also big believers in community investment, and last year the Robberson Employee Deschutes United Way Campaign raised close to $25,000 in charitable contributions.
“Our team is a huge part of our success, and we are always striving for customer satisfaction.
“I would say the top priority throughout this whole remodel process has been to make it easier to do business with us.”
BBT Project Architect Matt Appleby said, “The existing buildings totaled around 20,000 square feet, so we added 8,400 sq ft to what was there previously.
“The bulk of the new construction was designed in conjunction with the Ford team to follow latest guidelines for Ford and Lincoln dealerships, including the glass panel and aluminum-sided module, which has a sleek, modern look.
“A seamless flow between structures and functions was also prioritized to enhance the customer experience.
“There were a few challenges on the project, including working with a split level site which had some five feet of grade difference between the showroom and associated areas, but we worked to further integrate all the entities on the property and help create an environment for a state-of-the-art experience.
“The construction schedule was somewhat tight but it is great that the dealership maintained a central location in Bend, and it is quite a tribute to their team and the marketing effort that they maintained a high level of business throughout the process.”
Robberson Ford-Lincoln Remodel
2100 NE Third Street • Bend, Oregon
541-382-4521 • www.robberson.com
Contractor: Kirby Nagelhout Construction
Project Cost: $4,383,217
Square Footage: 28,476
Financing: Bank of the Cascades
Project Manager: Matt Stockton
Supervisor: Chris Inman
Architect: BBT Architects
Principal Architect: Don Stevens, Matt Appleby
Structural Engineer: Walker Structural Engineering
Civil Engineer: Kilewer Engineering & Associates
Mechanical Engineer: Cole Breit Engineering, LLC
Landscaping: Springtime Landscaping
Subcontractors and Suppliers:
Cascade Insulation Inc., Taylor Northwest, LLC, Terminix, Stephen Waldroup Construction, Streamline Masonry, LLC, True Line Steel, Inc., D. Ditmore Consulting, Inc., Energy Conserv. Insulation Co., Skyline Sheet Metal, Inc. McMurray & Sons Inc., Central Oregon Garage Door Inc., Alpine Glass Company, CCI Bend LLC, Deschutes Painting, Inc., Pinkham Specialty Company, Classic Coverings & Design Inc., Intuitive Fire LLC, Crow Plumbing Inc., Bend Heating & Sheet Metal Inc., Bend Radiant Heating, Inc., Bend Electric, Inc., Tomco Electrics, Inc., Bend Sync Limited, Eastern States Paving, JKD Construction, Mesa Tile & Stone, Tri County Paving, Terminix, Thyssenkrup Elevator, Sign Pro of Central Oregon, Bend Rigging, Ed Staub & Sons, Swift Steel, Norco, Mikes Fence, Bell Hardware, Miller Lumber, Oregon Wholesale, Denefeld Paints, Little Johns Portable Toilets, Longreach Concrete Cutting, Bend Construction Supply, Hooker Creek, Cleaning Unlimited, Cutrite Concrete Cutting
(Photo above by Cascade Business News)