Why did the dealership cross the road?
To sell more cars, of course.
A public hearing concerning a special land use (SLU) request that would allow Clean Cars, a used vehicle dealership, to move from the west side of M-24 to the east side is scheduled for the 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 meeting of the Oxford Township Planning Commission at 300 Dunlap Rd.
Clean Cars, Inc., which has been in business since 1999, is looking to relocate from 157 S. Washington St. in the village to the former Burger King site located at 583 S. Lapeer Rd., just south of the village. It’s sat vacant since December 2015 when the fast food restaurant closed.
“We’re happy about it. We’re looking forward to it,” said Richard Skalnek, owner of Clean Cars and the majority shareholder of the Skalnek Ford dealership in Orion Township.
“Oxford and Orion have been good to us for a lot of years.”
Skalnek explained this is an opportunity for both expansion and to own property instead of continuing to rent it.
“We’re going to double the business,” he said.
Clean Cars currently sits on a site that’s a little less than three quarters of an acre.
The former Burger King property is 1.194 acres and is zoned general commercial (C-2), which allows for automobile and recreational vehicle sales establishments if a special land use is granted by the planning commission.
“I’m just hoping it gets approved,” Skalnek said. “(The old Burger King site is) going to be a lot better than what it is today.”
The former restaurant will be renovated and converted into a sales office. The front portion of the building, which used to contain a play area for kids, will be removed.
“We’re going to redo the whole building (inside and out),” Skalnek said. “I’m redoing the whole exterior. We’re going to put modern siding on it.”
The parking lot is going to be fixed up – new asphalt and new lighting – to accommodate a total of 78 spaces, 62 of which will be used to store and display inventory.
Clean Cars has two locations, one in Oxford and one in Imlay City, the latter of which “might one day also be moved” to the former Burger King property, according to the SLU application information submitted to the township. “We’re thinking about it, but that’s not a decision (that’s going to be made) at this time,” Skalnek said.
Operations at the former Burger King site would be “substantially identical” to those at Clean Cars’ present Oxford location.
According to the application, Clean Cars does not currently “perform any repairs, service, body work, painting or any similar type of activities,” nor does it plan to do any of these things in the future.
“The operations are currently limited simply to retail sales of used vehicles and associated financing activities,” the application states.
Clean Cars is in the process of purchasing the old Burger King site from the Bloomfield-based TenTen Holdings, LLC.
TenTen Holdings has owned the property since October 2012 when it paid $352,400 to the Oxford Burger King Group.
Skalnek noted how “very friendly” and “very cooperative” everyone he’s dealt with in Oxford Township government has been. “I was impressed,” he said.