Groundbreaking | Construction of new Magee Autoplex facility commences

Published 8:26 am Sunday, August 19, 2012

Employees, company and parish officials and community members turned out Thursday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony at Franklinton’s Magee Autoplex, where a brand new, bigger and better facility to be used for automotive sales and service is now being constructed.

Owned by Mike Burris and Leeke Magee, Magee Autoplex sells new Chevrolet and Buick vehicles and a complete line of used cars, Burris said.

General manager Justin Miller discussed the reasoning behind the expansion of the dealership.

“Our facility is getting older and Chevrolet wanted us to do some improvements to the current facility,” he said. “We just decided to go ahead and invest in a brand new facility.”

When the word came down from General Motors that the new facility would have to be constructed, Burris said he was initially concerned about getting the OK from Magee. However, he found that he had no reason to worry.

“When I went down to talk to Mr. Magee about building this, he didn’t hesitate,” Burris continued. “He said, ‘This is what our dealership needs. This is what Franklinton, Louisiana needs. This is what Washington Parish needs. We’re building the building.’ It’s quite a testimony to his dedication to the business community.”

One of the participants in the groundbreaking celebration, Mayor Wayne Fleming said he thinks the forthcoming Magee facility is a “wonderful thing” for Franklinton.

“It’s the only new car dealership in Franklinton or in Washington Parish,” he said. “I’m just so proud that Mr. Magee chose to do this, and we’re very honored. It’s going to help us, and we appreciate it so much.”

With construction now under way, Miller estimates that the building of the roughly 15,000-to-16,000-square-foot facility will be complete within six to seven months. After that, the front portion of the existing facility, which is located on the same property, will be torn down, but the service side will still be used for storage and for the servicing of vehicles, he said.

The “state-of-the-art” facility was designed by General Motors and will be built to the company’s specifications, Burris said.

“It’s going to make sales and service super-efficient,” he said. “We will have as good of a facility as any community in the nation.”

With the new building, Franklinton will have a facility like those found in places like Mandeville, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Burris said, also expressing praise for the team assembled at Magee Autoplex.

“I have a crew here that’s beyond any other dealership in the area,” he said. “They’re good, honest, solid people, headed by Justin Miller.”