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McKeesport Ford dealer to relocate to White Oak in late 2015

| Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, 12:01 a.m.

Jim Shorkey plans to retain the local Tri-Star Ford staff as he leases the McKeesport Tri-Star Ford location along Walnut Street before moving it to White Oak sometime this year.

“The opportunity presented itself with an iconic brand like Ford that we always wanted to sell,” Shorkey said.

A sales force of 30-35 is among those who are staying with the new owner at the one-time Ames store location in McKeesport's Twelfth Ward.

“We have retained nearly the entire staff,” Shorkey said. “We will continue to employ more people.”

Shorkey is leasing the McKeesport location for a year from Tri-Star Holdings Ltd., whose properties include those leased to Tri-Star Auto Group. Shorkey plans an expanded location at the Tri-Star Holdings owned building at 1234 Long Run Road in White Oak. The now-vacant building once housed Shorkey's Chrysler-Plymouth dealership.

“We will break ground on (the expansion) in late February or early March,” Shorkey said. “We are going to renovate the existing part of the building and add on about 5,000 square feet.”

Shorkey said a move is planned in November or December.

Any plans would require approval from White Oak officials, who said Monday that no application was made to the borough planning commission or zoning hearing board.

Shorkey said there was an economic advantage in having a Mon Valley location, considering its proximity to Kia, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealerships he has along Route 30 in North Huntingdon.

The old White Oak location still was owned by another former car franchise-holder, Thomas Land Co. Inc., when Tri-Star Holdings bought it for $1.5 million in November 2013.

Tri-Star's first McKeesport venture was in the former Babe Charapp Ford location along Eden Park Boulevard. It moved in 2006 to the former Ames storefront, with access from Olympia Shopping Center.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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