EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard<br>
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker holds a hard hat and talks with Chad Koehne (center) and Todd Koehne Friday at a ground-breaking ceremony for Koehne Chevrolet in Marinette. (Color reprints: www.ehextra.com)
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker holds a hard hat and talks with Chad Koehne (center) and Todd Koehne Friday at a ground-breaking ceremony for Koehne Chevrolet in Marinette. (Color reprints: www.ehextra.com)
MARINETTE — Emboldened by the positive direction of Marinette’s economy, Todd and Chad Koehne, the owners of Koehne Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership, have announced an expansion project that is estimated to create between 30 and 50 jobs in Marinette.
“Chad and I believe in supporting the community that supports us with youth baseball, boy scouts, the car giveaways ... and other charities,” Todd said. “We want the communities to know that we appreciate you as much as you appreciate us.”
The new dealership will be 24,000 square feet, twice the size of the current facility on Cleveland Avenue. It will include an expanded showroom and a drive-in service center. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015.
Todd Koehne said the dealership started out as one location with eight employees in Oconto. Today, there is another facility in Green Bay as well as the one in Marinette. All together, he estimated the company employees about 100 people and they are looking to increase that by about 50 percent by the time the new building is completed.
A groundbreaking ceremony took place early Friday for the new building that will be located at W1754 U.S. 41 in Marinette. Both Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wisconsin) made an appearance and spoke highly of the expansion.
“This is exactly, what is going on here with you guys, this is exactly what entrepreneurs do to make their communities better,” Ribble said. “And Marinette will be a better place to live, a better place to work, a better place to raise a family, a better place to put your kids through school because of what you guys are doing here today.”
Walker said that substantial investments, such as the one the Koehnes are making to the community, is important in making Wisconsin a favorable state for businesses. He added that part of that is also on his shoulders as far as making tax cuts for businesses and working on environmental restrictions.
“We want to be competitive,” he said. “We want to show that this is a great place to do business and we don’t have things that would draw businesses or opportunities away.”
Walker added that groundbreakings are cause for celebration throughout the state.
“Each time a company breaks ground and expands their operation, there is reason to celebrate,” he said. “It means another company found success in Wisconsin and wants to create jobs by investing in our state. I’m pleased to join the Koehne family to celebrate and recognize their hard work and dedication to northeastern Wisconsin.”