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Automaker accelerates East End Porsche dealership upgrade

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 9:29 p.m.

The owner of a Porsche franchise on Baum Boulevard in the East End is giving his showroom a $1.5 million overhaul.

It was that or lose the dealership.

Porsche Cars of America requires its dealers to upgrade showrooms and buildings periodically and had alerted the Porsche Auto Palace dealer to make the improvements.

The first phase of renovations to the building in the 4600 block will involve the installation of aluminum panels on the Baum Boulevard and Melwood Avenue sides of the building, said Gary E. Jones, senior architect with LLI Engineering of the North Side, the firm behind the project.

The Porsche name will be placed on the Melwood side with the words “Auto Place,” and both will feature back-lighting to provide exterior illumination, Jones said.

The remainder of the building will be black with silver aluminum panels over the facade and showroom areas.

Trees will be planted and outdoor lighting will be added.

The showroom, on two levels, will be accessible via an elevator. New windows will be installed, and the walls and floors will be updated.

The first phase includes work to level the parking lot, which has a dip in the center.

“Our plan is to begin work immediately, now that we have City Planning approval, along with that of the Baum/Centre Initiative community group,” Jones said.

Jones wouldn't discuss plans for the second phase.

Sam Spatter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7843 or sspatter@tribweb.com.

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