SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – Chevrolet is making a comeback in South Bend.
Plans call for the construction of a new Chevy dealership on the city’s south side, off Ireland Road.
Gates Chevrolet closed its downtown South Bend store in 2008.
At the time, it was operating out of the old Sears building on Western Avenue, although Gates had had a South Bend presence since 1936.
Today on the lot at Gates Chevy World in Mishawaka there were only three new vehicles—three Silverados.
You might think the car selling chips were down, but Gates plans to double down: to build another lot and a new dealership at 311 Ireland Road. “We always laugh that our great grandfather started the business in 1928 right before the depression, and so that’s how this business cut its teeth and we feel that any challenges that come, we’re going to meet them with the same philosophy of taking great care of customers,” said Matt Helmkamp, Gates Chevy World President.
Ground will be broken in August. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.
“Almost 30,000 square feet. We’re going to have about 20 service bays to work on cars. We’re going to have five electric chargers for the future, we’re building that dealership for the future,” added Jef Gates, President of Gates Chevrolet, South Bend.
The Gates family history of selling Chevys dates back to 1928 and a lot in Plymouth.
By 1936, Gates had a home base in South Bend. Around 2008, Gates Chevy left the former Sears building downtown and consolidated operations at the dealership on McKinley Avenue in Mishawaka.
“It’s kind of a new opportunity, but very familiar to us,” said Helmkamp. “When the opportunity came up and GM said we would like to open up a point in South Bend they came to us, asked us to do that and we were excited to do that.”
“Not only the south side of South Bend is been growing, or has been growing the past, you know, decade or so since we left South Bend but all the surrounding areas, you know, Plymouth, Knox, the smaller towns out there. We’re really excited to serve those communities,” said Jef Gates.
The Gates Mishawaka store has operated since the 1960′s and it will remain open and unaffected by the new South Bend facility.
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