A new dealer will tap into the luxury automobile market in Pasco County with its new showroom under construction near Wiregrass Ranch.
Lexus of Wesley Chapel is being built on about 8 acres, next to Wesley Chapel Toyota, at 5300 Eagleston Blvd., south of State Road 54 and west of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
Owners of Williams Automotive Group competed against nearly 130 dealers nationwide who sought to win the coveted Lexus dealership.
The new Lexus showroom is expected to open by the end of 2017 and employ about 100 people. Williams Automotive Group is the parent company for Wesley Chapel Toyota, Wesley Chapel Honda and Tampa Honda.
Lexus of Wesley Chapel will be the second to sell luxury, high-end vehicles in Pasco County.
In 2015, AutoNation opened Pasco County’s first Mercedes Benz dealership at the corner of State Road 56 and Interstate 75, also in Wesley Chapel. It is within the orbit of Tampa Premium Outlets, Cypress Creek Town Center and Florida Hospital Center Ice.
For Lexus fans, the nearest dealership is more than 20 miles away in Tampa.
A study and review of the area’s demographics found Wesley Chapel to be “a perfect fit for the luxury car buyer,” according to an email statement from John Williams, co-owner of Williams Automotive Group.
The market for Lexus of Wesley Chapel covers not only Pasco but northern Hillsborough County, Hernando County and beyond, Williams said in the email.
According to 2015 census data, the annual median income in Wesley Chapel is about $75,000. By comparison, the Pasco overall median income is about $45,000.
Average household income is even higher at more than $85,000 in Wesley Chapel, and $60,000 in Pasco.
With the ongoing growth in the county, Williams said the market can handle even more luxury dealerships in future.
The main Lexus showroom will be a two-story building with about 58,000 square feet. There also will be a double-tunnel car wash of about 3,800 square feet, and a covered outdoor pavilion of about 1,900 square feet.
The dealership will have nearly 500 parking spaces.
A 10-acre adjacent site has room for more than 600 additional parking spaces, and a future collision center. Williams said construction on the collision center probably will begin in 2018.
The indoor showroom will feature 12 Lexus vehicles while another 10 vehicles can be displayed outdoors. There will be 30 service bays, including eight detail bays, with room for expansion.
In addition, there will be several customer lounges, quiet rooms, business offices, a children’s play area, technology center, and an upscale cafe with coffee and cappuccino.
Published February 22, 2017