Charles Frazier, of Letcher County, Ky., purchased the former Erwin Motors building in June with partners Theresa and Marty Johnson of Hazard, Ky.
They are waiting now on their dealership license, which Frazier expects to come at anytime. After that, he said, the phones and internet will be connected, a staff will be hired and an inventory of new and used cars will be brought in.
In the meantime, Frazier and his wife, Michelle, are at the lot daily, cleaning up, taking applications and preparing for a few minor repairs and updates they want to complete before opening.
Some ceiling tiles need to be replaced and the asphalt across the entire lot will be resealed, he said.
After 30 years in the automotive business, most recently as general manager of a Ford dealership in Hazard, Charles Frazier said he was looking for a dealership to purchase when a mutual friend put him in touch with Erwin Motors owner Todd Love.
Love and Frazier had been working on the deal for more than a year when they finally closed on the sale of the building in June.
Love closed the lot in January but has continued selling cars through his franchise.
The lot’s closing and the future of the dealership caused a great deal of speculation in Erwin, and residents and government leaders alike were heartened to see the new Neighborhood Ford sign go up.
The dealership’s fate was even discussed in Board of Mayor and Aldermen budget work sessions, with Mayor Doris Hensley noting that Erwin Motors had been the town’s largest sales tax generator and had been closed for half the year.
Frazier said local interest in the dealership has been apparent.
“We’ve had a tremendous number of people come by and wish us luck,” he said. “They seem to be happy we’re here. And we are happy to be here.
“We love the town. It’s just a beautiful place. And we have found out the people of Erwin really love their town and they support their town. That’s really a bonus when you’re new around.
“I’m all about community and we want to be a part that here in Erwin. We’ve already donated some things we had to the high school. And if we can help the community in any way, we hope they will let us know.”
Email Sue Guinn Legg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.