A Tri-Cities truck dealer called Jims Pacific Garages Inc. plans to open a new dealership here in a West Plains building that the now-defunct Godwin Equipment Co. formerly occupied.
Karl Rehwalt, controller of Jims Pacific Garages and son of that companys owner, Jim Rehwalt, says he personally bought the former Godwin property, located along the north side of Interstate 90 at 7627 W. Geiger Blvd., from Inland Northwest Bank, of Spokane, and plans to open the dealership there on March 20. He says he plans to move to Spokane this spring and will serve as general manager of the facility, which will be called Jims Pacific Sterling.
The dealership will sell new Sterling brand trucks and Chaparral brand aluminum trailers, and also will offer truck-repair services and sell parts, Rehwalt says. Sterling trucks are made by Ohio-based Sterling Truck Corp., which acquired the assets of the former Ford Heavy Duty line, he says. Rehwalt says he expects the dealership here to employ seven or eight people initially, up to 12 people within six months, and perhaps more later.
The former Godwin property includes a 10,000-square-foot building and about five acres of land. Godwin Equipment, which refurbished heavy equipment for the military and other government agencies and was owned by Bill and Linda Godwin, filed for protection from creditors here last November under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, listing liabilities of more than $1.1 million and assets of about $922,000. Chapter 7 protection is given to companies so they can liquidate. The Godwins later conveyed the property back to Inland Northwest Bank, a secured creditor.
Rehwalt says he plans to do some remodeling of the building, but not until after the first six months of operation. Well dress up the outside of the building, make the street appeal a little better than it is now, he says.
He declines to say how much he paid the bank for the property. However, bankruptcy court documents filed by the Godwins last November listed its market value at about $540,000. The Godwins constructed the building about five years ago, after which Godwin Equipment moved there from the nearby Spokane International Airport Business Park, where the company had been leasing space.
Rehwalt, who will operate the new truck dealership here, is a former Spokane resident who attended Cheney High School and graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in business administration. He worked here for Old National Bank, which later became part of U.S. Bank of Washington, and transferred to Yakima and then to Portland with the bank before deciding about two and a half years ago, after 13 years in the banking industry, to join the family business.
Jim Rehwalt started Jims Pacific Garages Inc. in the Tri-Cities in 1985 after acquiring the assets of Pacific Garages Inc., which had done business there since 1967.
Before moving to the Tri-Cities, he had managed a Pacific Garages branch trucking facility on the West Plains until the company decided to shut it down.
Jims Pacific Garages occupies a 24,000-square-foot building located on about eight acres of land in Pasco and employs about 35 people there.
Subscribe today to our free E-Newsletters!SUBSCRIBE