Eddys get OK to open Fiat store
By Elise Franco
The Austintown Zoning Board of Appeals approved a conditional permit allowing Bob and Chuck Eddy to operate a Fiat dealership on a parcel of township land.
The board’s vote Thursday night allows the Eddys, who own Bob and Chuck Eddy Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep in Austintown, to renovate a building and turn it into an interim storefront and showroom until a larger, permanent Fiat dealership can be erected.
Board member Joe Koch said the board agrees that the new dealership is an important new business for the community.
“This is a great addition to Austintown,” he said.
Koch said the main reason behind the appeals hearing is to make sure everything is in order.
“It’s our job to explore all the nooks and crannies,” he said.
Stephen Berry of Architectural Design Inc., Youngstown, showed the board designs outlining how the 6,500-square-foot building would be renovated. He said the work, which would modernize the structure, includes new windows and a caf — a mandatory addition by Fiat.
“We’ve had to tweak the look of the building based on the look of Fiat Corporation, even though it’s a temporary facility,” Berry said. “The main idea is to get the product out as early as possible.”
Chuck Eddy said they’re looking to purchase two parcels of land adjacent to the interim dealership, which is on the corner of Mahoning and Anderson avenues.
“We’re fighting to keep this dealership in Austintown,” he said. “My goal is to have the land purchased and a new facility built within the next 24 months.”
He said if he’s unable to find the proper space in Austintown for what will be an 18,000-square-foot permanent Fiat dealership, he’ll have to look for land elsewhere.
He said the dealership has to be placed “somewhere between Youngstown and Boardman.”
In the meantime, the interim Fiat store will be solely a showroom, he said. Any bodywork or servicing will be at the Chrysler dealership on Mahoning Avenue.
“This will be a showroom in the front and a detailing shop in the back where the cars will get washed and waxed,” Berry said.
Chuck Eddy said they’ll continue to use the Anderson Avenue building as a showroom and used-car lot after the new dealership is built.