Steamboat Motors on the city's west side is due for a new look and a new customer waiting room with all the comforts, perhaps as soon as early summer.
Steamboat Motors owners John Centner and Bill Keith have filed for a minor remodel permit to change the appearance of their building about one-half mile west of the new Cook site.
"We're going to give the existing building a face-lift," Centner said. "We want to try to modernize it and make it more user friendly. We want to create an image that's more in accordance with today as opposed to 35 years ago."
Centner said the 35-year-old steel building is functional, but that the showroom, customer waiting area in the service department and the service advisers offices are all due for more comfortable surroundings. Plans also call for modernizing the appearance of the front of the building.
The showroom will be gutted front to back, Centner said, and the service drive area will be enclosed to permit customers to conveniently get out of the weather. The offices of the service advisers will be buffered against the sound of the repair shop, creating an entirely different environment from their current workspace.
Centner said he would like to begin the remodel as soon as late spring. Eric Smith Associates is the architect of record.
City planner Brian Bavosi said he anticipates the planning process for the Steamboat Motors project to be relatively straightforward and involve architectural review.
"People should be able to change the faÃ§ade of their building," Bavosi said.
"We're real excited, and we feel it's going to create a different look and a different feel for our customers who have invested in our business and allowed us to expand," Centner said.