DIXON – A former grocery store that at idle for almost a year will get new life, likely starting in June.
Jon Setchell and his wife, Aubrey, who own Autodoc Inc., bought the former Dixon Food Center at 500 Chicago Ave. for $210,000; they plan to move their business there.
“It’s only two blocks away, so it shouldn’t be bad to move everything,” Setchell said. “I saw the ‘for sale’ sign and called that morning. The price was good and I made an offer and had it under contract that night.”
Setchell has been in business 2 years at the current shop at 804 Franklin Grove Road. The space is small, though, and the former grocery store building is huge, giving his business room to expand, he said.
“It’s pretty big in there. I plan to fix cars in one section and have inside storage for winter in another section for cars and boats and things like that.”
Setchell is navigating the zoning process to gain city approval for the move, but once that is completed, work will begin to give the building a makeover.
“After June 3, we should be all clear and then we will go in and fix stuff up,” he said. “We will do some outside reconstruction to make it look better. We don’t have to do a whole lot to the building but put in a garage door. We’ll do a thorough cleaning, too.”
He also has some big plans for customers in mind.
“I’ve got plans for an inside waiting room with video games for the kids they can play while their parents are there getting their vehicles serviced,” Setchell said. “I want to add another waiting room with a TV area, too.”
He plans to sell the current Autodoc building and use those proceeds to improve the new location.
“After we sell the current building we will have some money for the new place and will sealcoat the driveway and update the building,” he said.
With all of the extra space, he can add some more lift racks and at some point in the future hopefully hire more people, Setchell said.
He also wants to add another service that he could not do before.
“Maybe get a new tow truck and start a towing business, because at the current location it’s so small we can’t do it here.”
He plans a grand opening celebration and perhaps a car show once everything is cleaned up and all of the equipment is moved in.
Although there are a lot of details involved in a purchase and move, Setchell said it’s great to have an opportunity to expand the business like this, he said.
“It’s pretty exciting. It’s been a little stressful at times but it should work out pretty good.”