Jack is back … on Jacksonville’s east side.
Jack Hanania, president and CEO of Hanania Automotive Group, and his family welcomed friends, business associates and government officials at Tuesday’s ceremonial groundbreaking of his second Audi dealership. The event was held on a 6-acre parcel of cleared property at 11401 Atlantic Blvd., just west of Kernan Boulevard.
With 15 established dealerships, including 12 located on Jacksonville’s Westside, this actually will be Hanania’s first new dealership east of downtown. He did buy Key Audi on Southside Boulevard in 2006, but moved the German luxury line to its current location on Blanding Boulevard in 2009.
“The time is right,” Hanania said. “We have a lot of new products coming out. This brand is growing and we’re going to grow with it.”
Hanania unveiled the names for the two Audi dealerships: the Blanding Boulevard store is now Audi Orange Park, and the location on Atlantic Boulevard will become Audi Jacksonville. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
Bringing Audi east is a natural move for Hanania as Atlantic Boulevard has become known as a luxury car row with similar dealerships building new stores or renovating current structures to handle sales and service of its foreign brands.
“When it came time to add a second location [to Jacksonville] for customer convenience, we knew immediately we wanted to partner with Jack,” said Pete Hamilton, vice president of Audi of America’s southern region.
Audi Jacksonville will sell new and certified pre-owned vehicles. The two-story facility will feature a 10-car showroom, 19 service bays and a state-of-the-art lounge.
Hanania said the company will extend its complimentary concierge service for customers at this location to make the service experience as hassle-free as possible.
Hanania and architect Ted Pappas, president of PBV Architecture, gave guests a first look at the street view of the building on Tuesday.
Pappas, who has collaborated with Hanania on eight previous projects, said Audi Jacksonville will have an updated look — the exterior featuring a special texture. The inside will be state-of-the-art and designed with energy efficiency in mind.
“Technology is fast moving. We had to think about the future [when building this dealership],” Hanania said. “We had to think about what percent of people will want electric and hybrid, and we had to think down the road. We gave it a lot of time and research, and we feel comfortable and prepared.”
The dealership will bring more than convenience for customers; it will also add 55 jobs to the area, with room for expansion.
According to Mayor Lenny Curry’s chief of staff, Kerri Stewart, these jobs will provide an above-average wage for those hired.
It doesn’t come as a huge surprise that Audi of America wants to expand in the market. With more than 290 dealers nationwide, it has had an impressive run the last several years.
Audi established sales records in each of the past seven years. In 2016, the brand recorded its best annual performance, delivering 210,213 vehicles in the U.S. market. In 2015, it surpassed the 200,000 mark five years ahead of schedule, delivering 202,202 Audi automobiles.
Jacqueline Persandi: (904) 359-4306
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