Ackerman Toyota Plans $18M Dealership at I-44, Hampton

Ackerman Toyota

As reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ackerman Toyota will relocated from its longtime South Kingshighway location to a site at Interstate 44 and Hampton Avenue. In 2008, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of the City of St. Louis purchased the land for $2.4M. Ackerman is reportedly buying the site from the city for $2.5M.

Between MSD and the city, a total of 26 contiguous acres were available for development. The dream was once for Ikea to build here. It’s not know why the retailer chose the Cortex site with less-direct highway access instead, but the readymade, and sizeable, Tax Increment Financing may have been a factor.

Over the past seven years, the city has allowed the building to fall into a state of disrepair making reuse increasingly unlikely. Of course, reusing the MSD building was never really part of the plan, as a larger retail development was pursued.

The Ackerman project is estimated to cost $18M. Incentives include $4.4M in TIF, and $765K from a community improvement district sales tax, according to the Post-Dispatch. The TIF in this case is designed to capture any incremental increase in tax revenue produced by the car dealership relative to that produced by the vacant site today.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 10.18.56 AM

In Missouri, sales tax on the purchase of a new vehicle is paid based on the address on the vehicle title, ostensibly the purchaser’s home address, and not the location of purchase. The $4.4M TIF is accrued by other sales, such as vehicle parts and accessories.

According to the Post-Dispatch, the relocation will involve 45 jobs and possibly add 35 more. The new showroom will be nearly 50,000sf with structured and surface parking. The new site will be much higher profile for Ackerman, with 30,000 cars on Hampton and 145,000 on I-44 each day.

The new Tri-Star Imports Mercedes-Benz dealership which opened last year was a $13M project, and recevied $2.3M in TIF assistance has seen sales and service numbers grow, according to the Post-Dispatch story. Both Ackerman Toyota, and Tri-Star, which moved into the city from Ellisville in West St. Louis County, were constrained by dealership territories, which helped determine their new locations.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 9.20.06 AM{existing Ackerman Toyota at 3636 South Kingshighway Boulevard}

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 9.21.39 AM{existing MSD building at 2020 Hampton Avenue}