Town & Country to build facility on Aaron Drive
Ralph Martinez built a large car dealership empire in the Portland area, but he always had his eye on the Tri-Cities.
So two years ago, Martinez and his Town & Country dealership bought the Tri-Cities BMW dealership from Tim Bush.
“My wife and I have a home here,” he said. “We love it here. It’s a nice pace. A lot more conservative here.”
Last month, Martinez bought the Tri-City Audi dealership through a broker. Audi, which had been part of Overturf Motors in Kennewick, wanted its own stand-alone building.
Martinez plans to build the estimated $2.5 million building for the Audi line of vehicles with construction beginning in 2018.
When Overturf Motors’ Doug Overturf decided to sell the Audi line, Martinez moved fast.
“Recently, this opportunity came to our attention. We’ve had the cars since the first of the month (April). It’s finally closed,” said Martinez, who said he couldn’t disclose the purchase price.
Martinez set up a temporary home for the Audi inventory at the old Budget Rent-A-Car location on Aaron Drive, near Beaver Bark, in Richland. Martinez’s BMW lot is just a few hundred yards up the road.
“The current facility that houses Audi is temporary,” said Martinez. “That lot is approximately four acres. We own two lots west of the BMW dealership, and that is where the new Audi center will be located.”