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Ground broken for Honda dealership in South L.A.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Ground was broken May 4 on a new $25 million Honda dealership that will be built on a vacant one-acre site at 740 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The dealership, which is expected to be completed in summer 2018, is one of the largest retail and commercial investments the community has seen in recent years.

“The facility is being constructed on a previously vacant lot that was dark and uninviting and will greatly improve the streetscape of this part of the neighborhood,” City Councilman Curren Price said on Twitter.

Joe Shuster, president and owner of the Honda of Downtown L.A. dealership, said that he looked at several factors when deciding on the new location.

“One [of the deciding aspects] was where our customers were coming from,” Shuster said. “That area really brought a lot of customers to our dealership. When we found that nice piece of property was available, we were excited that it was on a big street and across the street from the Coliseum.”

The five-story, 210,000 square foot facility, Shuster said, will generate more than 200 jobs and will “definitely boost the local economy,” while doubling the size of Honda’s inventory.

“We’ll be able to house all the dealership operations under one roof,” Shuster added.

The ground-level floor will be home to a car showroom, indoor customer parking and the administrative areas. The second floor will have additional parking, business offices and a customer lounge area with an information technology center and more. Levels three to five will serve as operations and inventory spaces, with additional rooftop parking for inventory.

“We’re building one of the most high-tech dealerships in the country,” Shuster said. The dealership will also have solar panels installed, exterior green screens, 10,000 square feet of perforated aluminum panels for light absorption, two plasma video screens that will display community events and ads, and more.

According to a report published May 5 on Price’s website, the Honda of Downtown Los Angeles is developing job programs specifically for the Council District 9 community.

“[The Honda of Downtown LA] is donating $100,000 to Los Angeles Trade-Tech Community College to stimulate education in the automotive service-tech fields, and will donate $50,000 to the Figueroa Corridor Business Improvement District to continue innovation and beautification of the south Figueroa corridor.”

“With partners like Honda, we will continue to see growth and transform these surface parking lots into thriving hubs that provide jobs, housing and other wonderful resources for our local community,” Price said.

A spokesperson for Honda said the dealership could produce more than $5 million in sales tax revenue a year.

The dealership is one of a series of big projects being developed in the area, which includes the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the Banc of California Stadium — which will be home to the Los Angeles Football Club, a new soccer team — and the University of Southern California Village.

Those developments combined are expected to create more than 6,500 jobs.

“This [the Honda of Downtown LA dealership] project aligns with three key priorities for my district,” Price said. “Economic development, job creation and neighborhood revitalization.”

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