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Audi dealership under construction

Posted: January 25, 2014 8:00 a.m.
Updated: January 25, 2014 8:00 a.m.

Fransisco Martinez Diaz, demolition worker, detaches a power line from an empty car dealer ship on Creekside Road. The two week process will precede the eight and half week time frame for the Lusardi Construction Company to build the brand new Audi dealership, Audi of Valencia.

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After a delay of more than a year, Audi is finally preparing to move into Santa Clarita, according to an executive with the Keyes Automotive Group.

In late 2012, the automotive group had projected it would open in early 2013. But as the year came and went, the lot on Creekside Road continued to sit vacant.

“It wasn’t a construction delay,” said Howard Tenenbaum, vice president of the auto group. “It was just a matter of priorities. We have six projects going on.”

Demolition of two older buildings, that once housed a Jeep dealership, began on Jan. 6 of this year. Construction Superintendent, Mike Spurgeon, with Lausardi expected to have all the work done and the ground prepared to begin laying the foundation within two weeks.

The new Audi dealership consists of a showroom, offices and service center, Tenenbaum said. The exterior will meet the Audi manufacturer’s specifications, which include a steel design and lots of glass – a very contemporary look, he said.

Audi’s share of the California market last year ran 8 percent in the near-luxury group of cars, and 4.1 percent in luxury and sports cars class, according to Polk, an automotive data and marketing firm. The vehicle is ranked alongside Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Infiniti and Tesla.

In a 2012 city survey of residents, 71 percent of those polled said they buy their vehicles locally. Vehicles sold in the city benefit residents in the city of Santa Clarita when a portion of the state sales taxes paid go back into city budgets.

"The auto dealerships in the city of Santa Clarita contributed more than $4.5 million in local sales tax in 2012," said City Manager Ken Striplin. "It represents 15 to 16 percent of the total annual sales tax revenue for the year."

With the opening of the Mini Cooper dealership in the Valencia Auto Center area in late 2013, Audi will bring the number of dealerships located within the city to 25. The Keyes Automotive Group owns Lexus of Valencia, as well.

“Keyes likes the Santa Clarita Valley for its self-contained community where residents can shop where they live,” Tenenbaum said in an interview last year.

Construction of a new Audi dealership was projected to cost in excess of $10 million.

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