BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – An empty car lot now sits on the east end of town, as Shottenkirk moved its used car inventory to its full service dealership on the city’s west end.
Mike Anderson, general manager of the CarSmart location and the Shottenkirk dealership in Mt. Pleasant, said the decision was made just last week to consolidate the lots.
“I just took that store over last Tuesday, and with the assistance of Greg Shottenkirk and the ownership, we decided with the Internet presence and so much being done on the Internet now, it would be much easier to manage one site instead of two across the city,” Anderson said Monday. The time management just wasn’t the best and we felt it was in the best interest of clientele to put it in one location.”
He said the location won’t be sold and Shottenkirk will probably use the building in some capacity in the near future, but wouldn’t put a timeline on any decision.
“We’ve had a good positive response from the community,” he said. “It’s better to have, instead of 25 cars there, 250-300 cars out there, which gives our customers a better choice. Sometimes people go in there and don’t come to the other end and don’t see all the vehicles we have. This gives them other options.”
He said the building is a former gas station and its uses are limited but ownership isn’t looking to sell the property. He said options for future use could be a parts depot or a service station, but didn’t limit to those options.
“Consider what the building was before, there are only certain things you can and can’t put in there,” Anderson said.
“We want positive stuff to be out there for Shottenkirk and I’m sure Greg (Shottenkirk) will be making an announcement on that in the near future.”.
Cassie Gilbert, director of Fort Madison Main Street said the business and staff will be missed.
“It is always disappointing to see a business close in the downtown district and the CarSmart staff will be missed by our downtown merchants,” Gilbert said. “As always, Main Street is continuously working to bring new business into the downtown area and we look forward to seeing how the building will be repurposed by Shottenkirk.