Main Motorcar looks at Route 30A move

Would join ‘sprawl’ of other dealers

Main Motorcar on West Main Street in Johnstown is considering a move to Route 30A.
(The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Main Motorcar on West Main Street in Johnstown is considering a move to Route 30A. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Management of Main Motorcar — a downtown fixture on West Main Street — is taking a look at some day moving out to Route 30A.

But “not in any immediate future,” co-owner George Kline said Friday.

“It’s awhile down the road,” he said.

Kline said his 224-228 W. Main St. Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership owns a large tract of property on Route 30A. Main Motorcar carries a comprehensive line of new and used vehicles. Kline said corporate officials would encourage a move to what is also known as the Arterial Highway.

“Chrysler would love if we build a monument to them [on the highway],” he said.

If Main Motorcar does eventually move to Route 30A, it would add to a migration of car dealers in that area.

Johnstown City Planning Board members have mentioned in recent months how more and more auto sales are occurring on Route 30A, as northbound motorists head into Johnstown. They feel it is not necessarily aesthetically pleasing for people’s first impression of Johnstown to be automotive sales lots, especially cars on grass.

Planning board members have referred to a “sprawl” of auto dealers on Route 30A in recent years.

Carol Harper’s new retail dealership project — Route 30A Jumbo Lot 2 — was recently approved by city planners for 111 S. Comrie Ave. Other car dealerships already in the southern Johnstown area include James Chevrolet, Glovecars.com LLC, and Andy’s Service.

Kline said Main Motorcar owns a lot across from Apollo East Sales and Service, which is located at 503 S. Comrie Ave.

“We’ve been landlocked downtown,’ he said.

Kline said it is frustrating sometimes trying to get cars delivered to the current West Main Street spot.

“It would be a helluva lot easier if we weren’t downtown,” Kline said.

But Kline said there are concerns about leaving an empty building behind downtown. He said a similar situation occurred on North Market Street a few years ago when an auto dealer there closed down.

In the last six months, Kline said some landscaping and paving has been done at the Main Motorcar property on Route 30A.

Kline notes Main Motorcar is family business, and decisions have to be made with that in mind. But he said a move is a weighty decision.

“I do have family,” he said. “It’s one of those things that’s always on the agenda.”

Meanwhile, Kline said Johnstown Motorcar does a large amount of sales of government fleet vehicles. He said much of the sales activity is with clients outside the area.

“We do a lot of business,” Kline said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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