Newport auto shop buys vacant gas station; remodels and moves to more visible siteWhen Bruce Timm opened his Mastertech Auto and Tire in Newport nine years ago, he had three built-in business advantages.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
When Bruce Timm opened his Mastertech Auto and Tire in Newport nine years ago, he had three built-in business advantages:
There was a stoplight on nearby U.S. Highway 61, providing customers an easy exit to his auto repair shop. Also, he was located behind a gas station, which was good for business. And his shop was near the Fritzie Fresh candy building, whose workers became loyal customers.
Nine years later, the stoplight’s gone, the gas station is boarded up and the factory workers are gone.
Timm’s business hung on, but he decided he no longer wanted to lease space and he was looking for better visibility. He bought a vacant gas station, remodeled the space and opened his relocated business earlier this month.
“We’ve been keeping really busy since we’ve been here,” he said.
Mastertech is located in the former Holiday gas station building at 1206 Hastings Ave. Timm, who lives in Oakdale, thought about moving his business a few years ago but didn’t act until last year. He reached a deal with the former gas station and got city approval in December. He wrapped up the roughly $500,000 purchase and remodel in time for a July 1 opening.
The building facing Highway 61 underwent significant changes. Much of it was gutted. New walls were erected, a four-bay repair garage was designed and built and other improvements were made.
Timm and his mechanic, Terry Wilson, will do most repairs on cars and light trucks. They have two vehicle lifts and a stall that will be used for a wheel alignment rack. The building is similar in size to the old location, but it is a better use of space, Timm said.
Timm is happy with the new location. If business continues to do well, he said, he probably will hire another mechanic.
While it’s only been open a month, Mastertech has benefited from the freeway visibility.
“I have had some people come off the highway” for vehicle repairs, he said. “I’m seeing something.”
Mastertech Auto and Tire is at 1206 Hastings Ave. The hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 Monday to Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. For more information, call 651-459-5040.