OAKLAND — An auto dealer chain that had previously bought a Silicon Valley site for a vehicle sales business has widened its Bay Area presence with the purchase of an Oakland property for a new dealership.
Oregon-based Swickard Auto Group has bought a highly visible dealership site at 7201 Oakport St. in Oakland, according to Alameda County property documents.
“We purchased that location and have already moved Audi Oakland’s sales operations to that facility,” said Mike Maloney, vice president of marketing and communications with Swickard Auto Group.
With the Oakland deal, Swickard Auto Group now owns five dealership properties and operations in the Bay Area:
— Lexus of Fremont
— Land Rover Redwood City
— Jaguar Land Rover San Francisco
— Audi Palo Alto
— Audi Oakland
The Fremont, Redwood City, and San Francisco expansions occurred in June, the Palo Alto purchase occurred in August, and the Audi transaction occurred in September.
Prior to this year, Swickard didn’t have a presence in the Bay Area.
The expansion by a vehicle retailer is a welcome counterpoint to the dreary landscape for the Bay Area’s reeling economy amid the coronavirus.
Coronavirus-linked business shutdowns ordered by state and local government agencies have battered the Bay Area economy.
The Swickard organization in August paid $54.5 million to buy 4.8 acres at the corner of Embarcadero Road and East Bayshore Road in Palo Alto.
That South Bay property contains the site of the Audi Palo Alto vehicle dealership and the long-shuttered Ming’s restaurant, according to public records.
Palo Alto city officials have approved a sweeping redevelopment of the property that would replace both the restaurant and the existing dealership. For now, no major changes are planned.
“Our immediate plans are just to successfully operate the Audi dealership,” Maloney said in an August interview about the Palo Alto transaction.
In Oakland, acting through affiliate SC Oakland RE, Swickard Auto Group bought a 4-acre site on Oakport Drive between 66th Avenue and Hegenberger Road, Alameda County public documents show.
Swickard Auto paid $13.1 million for the Oakland property, according to the county records. The property includes an existing building that once was occupied by a Paul Blanco dealership, as well as large adjacent parking areas.
“Our service business will be moving there” to the 7201 Oakport location, Maloney said.