BUYER: Conant Properties X LLLP (principal: David Conant), Newport Beach, Calif.
SELLER: Charlotte HVW LP and Farmer Acquisition Co.
PROPERTY: 1252 Tamiami Trail and 645, 665 and 705 Woodbury Drive, Port Charlotte
PRICE: $7 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $2 million, September 1997
TITLE FIRM ON DEED: Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP, Lexington, Ky.
PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Newport Beach, Calif.-based Conant Auto Retail Group (The C.A.R. Group) purchased the business operations and real estate of the Honda of Port Charlotte and Charlotte Volkswagen auto dealerships. The C.A.R. Group acquired the 19,481-square-foot Honda dealership building and the adjacent 12,000-square-foot Volkswagen building for $7 million.
The Honda dealership features 11 service bays and the Volkswagen dealership has another seven.
The new ownership is renaming the dealerships to Port Charlotte Honda and Port Charlotte Volkswagen. The two dealerships are the group's first locations outside of California.
“We have been looking for the past two to three years at opportunities outside of California, specifically in Texas, Arizona and Florida,” says David Conant, CEO of The C.A.R. Group. “Any of those states we've targeted has had a reputation of being more business friendly and less litigious than California.”
Conant sees upside potential in the two properties. He projects that the new ownership will double sales for the Volkswagen dealership and increase Honda sales by at least 50%.
“We are used to competing in marketplaces where dealerships are four to eight miles apart,” he says. “In Los Angeles there are six Honda dealerships, and in the county there are 57. We dominate that market. While this is a smaller more sparsely populated area, we should be taking care of our market ourselves.”
The purchase entity Conant Properties X LLLP mortgaged the property to Comerica Bank for $5.6 million.