Subaru facility gets 'signature' remodeling job

Peninsula Subaru in Gorst is getting a brand new facility right where the current dealership stands. The trick is continuing to conduct normal business operations in the meantime.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it in the end,” said Peninsula Subaru owner John Dionas. “We’re getting rid of a tired, beat-up building and replacing it with a nice, brand-new facility. In the meantime, we’re open for business and fully operational.”

The $1 million facelift will qualify the dealership for “signature” status among Subaru franchises. “It’s a question of bringing the facility here up to standards,” said Dionas. “It was fine when it was built 14 years ago, but now it needs to be upgraded.”

Dionas, who bought the dealership two and a half years ago, said its Gorst location offers all the accessibility and visibility a business could ask for. All that’s been lacking to pull the whole package together is a first-class structure.

Among the other improvements planned are the addition of four new service bays and a larger, better-appointed customer waiting area — including Internet access.

“We’re also going to install a fitness facility in the waiting area so the customers can work out while they’re waiting for their car to be fixed,” Dionas said. “We did a survey and it turns out people preferred the idea of a treadmill to having a children’s play area since very few of them bring their kids along while their car is being worked on anyway. So we’re giving them what they want.”

Crews are also enlarging the showroom and installing covered service drive-up areas so customers bringing their vehicles in for service won’t get wet.

On the building’s exterior, a new paint scheme employing Subaru’s corporate colors will be applied. Out back, new landscaping is planned, along with a gazebo along the waterfront.

“We’re bringing a little beauty to Gorst,” Dionas said. “If your business is going to be located in a bird sanctuary, why not make it easy for your customers to go out and enjoy it.”

The construction is being done by Harrison Homebuilders of Gig Harbor; the design is courtesy of Miles Yanick, Architect, of Bainbridge Island.

Dionas estimates the work will be complete by late December and plans a grand opening celebration for January.

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