By Mark Hallum
After decades serving Jackson Heights out of a prefab office on Northern Boulevard, Koeppel Mazda cut the ribbon on a new modern facility that is as sophisticated in design as the cars they sell.
Koeppel General Manager Anthony Nesnick said the new $4 million facility located at 77-15 Northern Blvd. across the street from their old building expands the services they are able to provide and allows them to hire more Jackson Heights residents, raising their staff from 15 to 60.
“It’s an homage to our community, it’s one of the if not the nicest building in Jackson Heights. We built it to lift the community and also give Mazda a lifted brand other than what people may think of Mazda as a normal brand. It’s a near-luxury or premium luxury vehicle,” Nesnick said. “A beautification of the building helps the community out.”
Oct. 1 marked Koeppel Mazda’s first day in the new building, but the ribbon was cut Nov. 1 with community leaders such as Tom Grech, the executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, in attendance.
The land on which the dealership sits has changed hands many times from being a Rambler dealership to Packards, which fell off the market in the late 1950s.
Before that, the site was home to the Holmes Airport which offered $1 fares from 1929 until the 1940s and offered two-day service to Miami, according to a New York Times article from 1930.
Koeppel took two and a half years to build the modern facility that has a sleek showroom, something they did not have at the building across the street which Nesnick described as a trailer.
“We’re kind of like a rags to riches story. We started out in a tent, believe it or not,” Nesnick said. “So we went from a tent to a trailer to the prettiest thing on Northern Boulevard.”
Tom Donnelly, the vice president of U.S. sales and retail operations for Mazda North America, attended the ceremony.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall