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Davidson Auto buys former Drum Honda site to expand Nissan sales

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Davidson Auto Group has purchased the former Drum Honda property, 18375 Route 11, Watertown, to expand parking space at its Nissan dealership neighboring the property to the north at 18423 Route 11.

To add about 200 parking spaces to display Nissan vehicles and used cars, Davidson bought the site last week from a company owned by Watertown businessman Philip J. Simao, Onondaga Development LLC, for $625,000. Davidson had previously leased the building since May 2011 for reconditioning used cars, but it needed to purchase the property to operate as a dealership there and exhibit cars, said co-owner Dwight E. Davidson.

The dealership plans to hire anywhere from 10 to 20 employees at the expanded site, he said, adding to its staff of 30. Those positions will mostly be for salesmen and technicians.

Mr. Davidson said the decision to buy the lot to be an extension of its 150-space parking lot at Davidson Nissan was spurred by the increased consumer demand for Nissan vehicles.

“Our sales in our Nissan store have grown substantially, and that’s what pushed us over the hump to purchase the property,” he said. “Nissan is now on a roll nationally, and we’re sharing in that success.”

About half the parking lot space at the site will feature Nissan cars, Mr. Davidson said, while the other half will be devoted to used cars. At the Nissan property to the north, a 15,000-square-foot used car reconditioning facility is now being built that will eventually take the place of the smaller building now used for that purpose to the south. The company hasn’t yet decided how that soon-vacated building will be used.

Mr. Davidson said the used-car reconditioning center under construction will offer the extra space the dealership needs to keep pace with increased used car sales.

“We’re kind of space-deprived right now, based on how many used cars we’re selling,” he said. “Used car sales have grown nationally, too.”

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