Remodel on 205 Main building begins

A construction crew from Knoxville works to demolish the front of the 205 Main Street building on Monday, July 27. The building is being repurposed as a service facility for Rusty Wallace Chevrolet. (photo:G. Chambers Williams III )
Rusty Wallace Chevrolet this week began construction work to create an additional service facility out of the 205 Main Street building that the company bought from Anderson County in May.

Dealership General Manager Mark Trout said that a contractor started tearing down the front section of the building on Monday morning, and that work could be completed within about two months to turn the structure into a new auto maintenance center.

When it’s opened for business, the new facility could bring up to 10 new jobs, mostly for skilled maintenance technicians, Trout said.

“Right now, we’re basically just trying to clean it up,” Trout said of the building, for which the dealership paid $300,000. “We’re tearing that front off to make more parking.

“We’re going to keep the dome part as it is, but we’re looking at overlaying it or painting it, or maybe completely redoing it,” he said.

“The first step is that the front part needed to go. I’m really pleased with how my contractor got on with this part. They just started today. We’re going to put some more service bays in there, which will be good for us and good for the community.

“That will bring in more tax revenue,” he said. “We’re excited, and we’re glad to have it. I’m going to be optimistic and say in a couple of months we will be doing business in there. And within the next 30 days, you’re going to see a lot happen.”

The contractor working on the project Monday was Creative Structures, Inc., of Knoxville.

Anderson County purchased the building in 2018 for $600,000 with the intention of turning it into a new senior center. But the county found issues with the building and decided not to use it after all. It was then put up for sale.

The building is across Main Street from Rusty Wallace Chevrolet.

Trout said the dealership needs more shop space.

“We do warranty work on all GM products, and we will work on any model,” he said. “We stay busy. That expansion will really help us, with having more technicians, more lifts, and to be able to work on more cars, get people in and out quickly.

“I would say we may need five to 10 more people. It will mainly be technicians, and they are extremely tough to find. Luckily, I’ve got a great crew, including some who stayed with us when we bought it from Fox.”