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Chapman Ford to move showroom, body shop

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Chapman Ford plans to relocate its current showroom, service and parts areas from a site in East Petersburg to a property on Manheim Pike, putting it closer to the intersection of Routes 283 and 30 in Manheim Township

“It’s an ideal location,” said Chapman body shop manager Terry Brubaker, who is spearheading the project.

The location at 1485 Manheim Pike, also not far from Park City Center shopping mall, currently houses the Ford dealership’s body shop.

The dealership’s showroom, service and parts operations had also been located at the site, back when it was known as Wolf Motors, before moving in the 1990s to the East Petersburg location, at 5201 Main St.

The 5-acre Manheim Pike site had been leased, but according to Lancaster County courthouse records, it was purchased by Chapman for $3.7 million in December.

Brubaker said the main building, erected in the late 1950s, will be renovated to house a showroom, service and parts areas. Plans submitted to Manheim Township indicate that another existing building on the property will serve as a reconditioning shop to handle detailing and minor repairs.

The body shop, meanwhile, will relocate to a 9,920-square-foot building at 1680 Rohrerstown Road in East Hempfield Township. The building, which was constructed in 1996, had housed D. A. Landis Trucking. According to courthouse records, the dealership paid $1.8 million for it in June.

As part of the move, new paint booths are being added to the body shop, Brubaker said.

“We’ve been pretty much up-to-date with environmentally friendly paint booths for about five to six years, but new paint booths have technology that provides faster drying time,” he explained.

Work on both sites is anticipated to begin in early November.

“What that means is that our body shop’s office staff will work from trailers for a few months, until we can make the move to Rohrerstown Road. Our new shop is less than 10 minutes away so it shouldn’t affect customers,” Brubaker said.

Brubaker anticipates both parts of the project will be completed sometime between February and April. He did not disclose the cost of the project.

Chapman Ford’s project is the most recent auto showroom project along the Route 72 corridor. Lancaster County Motors Subaru dealership moved about a half-mile south to a new showroom at 1705 Manheim Pike last month. The project cost nearly $6 million, according to a Manheim Township building permit. The dealership had been located at 5260 Main St., East Petersburg, almost directly across from Chapman Ford’s current showroom.

Faulkner BMW recently completed remodeling its showroom at 1530 Manheim Pike. Building permit information obtained from Manheim Township indicates the approximate cost of the project is $800,000. A Saturn dealership had been located at the site. The Saturn showroom was demolished in 2011 to make way for the BMW dealership.

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