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i.g. Burton talks expansion plans for Berlin

Car retailer outlines ideas for renovations to Chrysler Dodge Ram Jeep, creation of new Chevrolet dealerships

Renderings depict expansion ideas at the i.g. Burton Berlin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership on Old Ocean City Boulevard in Berlin.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(May 2, 2019) Start your engines: Berlin has a new car dealership, and its ownership has plans to revamp it.

The multi-dealership company i.g. Burton, based in Milford, Delaware, celebrated its acquisition of the former Barrett family business last summer with a reception last Wednesday, during which company president Charles Burton outlined plans for the expansion of the Old Ocean City Boulevard properties. The company also operates dealerships in Milford, Lewes, Smyrna and Seaford, Delaware.

“We’re going to be making a significant investment in Berlin, and we feel the people in the town are great and deserve such an investment,” Burton said Monday.  “They’re nice people. They’re good people, and we really like the community, we really do. We think it’s a good market and we’re happy to be in it.”

Pete Renzi, director of operations at i.g. Burton, said the exact figures for the venture are unclear, but added that “it’s a considerable expense.”

He estimated that the work at the Chrysler dealership would cost roughly $1.5 million, and the Chevrolet project would be “somewhere in the neighborhood of about $5 million.”

Renzi said the expansion comes in two parts: one shop at a time.

The Chrysler Dodge Ram Jeep shop is expected to increase by approximately 8,000 square feet to include a shop with eight work stalls and a drive-thru.  Renzi added these plans come as “part of [Chrysler Fiat America’s] millennium branding image for facilities.”

Across the street, the retailer has plans to demolish the current structure and rebuild the dealership. Renzi also said the company hopes to annex the property into the Town of Berlin.

Drawings showcase plans for a completely redone i.g. Burton Chevrolet dealership on Old Ocean City Boulevard in Berlin.

Mayor Gee Williams said he’s looking forward to having i.g. Burton within the town limits.

“I think their plans are very much in character with what I hoped for … when we extended the sewer along old Ocean City Boulevard,” Williams said. “I think that they have a reputation for doing things right … and we welcome the improvements and the upgrades that they’re doing.”

Bids for the renovation projects at the Chrysler Dodge Ram Jeep store are due Friday, according to Renzi, who said he’d like to begin construction by June and finish by the end of the year.

As for the Chevrolet shop, Renzi said the annexation process takes about three months, and he anticipates construction starting before the end of 2020 and finishing by 2021.

When the dealership’s undertaking is complete, Renzi said he hopes it will improve the customer service experience.

“It’s important that the facility is able to service our customers, I mean that’s the biggest advantage,” Renzi said. “By separating out the service and sales, it gives us focus on those particular brands and for those customers.”