WATERTOWN — F.X. Caprara Auto Sales will build a Honda dealership off outer Bradley Street at the corporate park planned by Purcell Construction in the town of Pamelia, the company announced Friday.
The two-story, 34,000 -square-foot Honda dealership is expected to open in March 2015 and be staffed by 40 employees, said F.X. Caprara co-owner Charles G. Caprara, who will operate the business with his wife, Maureen A. The structure will be built at the northern end of the corporate park next to the Exit 47 interchange off Interstate 81.
The move comes after the company was chosen in September by California-based American Honda Motor Co. to become a certified dealer. The dealership, which will be the 20th franchise owned by F.X. Caprara, will stand alone as the only Honda franchise in the north country. DealMaker Honda, the most recent Honda franchise in the region, closed in 2010.
“It seems like we’re going back home, because F.X. Caprara was started on Perch Lake Road in the town of Pamelia 40 years ago,” Mr. Caprara said of the Bradley Street site.
The site off Interstate 81 — away from the outer Washington Street strip where car dealerships are concentrated — will be a convenient location for customers who live outside the Watertown area, Mr. Caprara said.
Unlike Chevrolet dealerships, which tend to be cropped together on highways, the Honda dealership will have the advantage of operating independently as the only franchise in the region, he said.
“We’re going to be the true north country Honda dealer, focusing on Watertown, north of Watertown as far as Potsdam and probably from Pulaski up,” Mr. Caprara said. “We have a big corridor, so we tried to make it as convenient as we could for people who could drive from Potsdam or Canton to come down and get their car serviced. And the advantage of Bradley Street is they won’t have to fight any traffic.”
Purcell Construction now is developing a corporate park at its 88-acre site adjacent to the CSX rail line off Bradley Street. The developer anticipates the site will have building space for up to 20 commercial tenants. It hopes to build a warehouse with rail siding to serve businesses at the park by shipping goods by truck or train.
Plans include extending a city waterline to the site, which includes 7 acres in the city but is situated mostly in the town of Pamelia. The developer hopes to have the waterline in this fall and to begin construction in 2015 on a warehouse with a rail siding.
Richard R. Gefell, Purcell’s director of business development, said that F.X. Caprara’s Honda dealership likely will attract similar retail businesses to set up shop at the corporate park.
“We think it’s a great addition to what we’re trying to accomplish out there, and we really feel it will entice other similar businesses to want to come there as well,” Mr. Gefell said. “The Capraras have a first-class operation, and we’re excited to have them there.”
Mr. Gefell said the corporate park likely will include a mix of retail and industrial tenants. The warehouse with rail siding, planned at the southern end of the park adjacent to Superior Street, is expected to draw manufacturers.
“With the rail siding on the other side of the site, we’re still going to be looking at manufacturing,” he said. “But I think that the dealership with attract businesses that will work in harmony with each other, and that the rail siding is kind of off in a separate area.”
Purcell Construction bought the Bradley Street property in October from Pyramid Cos., Syracuse, for $1.25 million.