Spokane Journal of Business

Freightliner dealer here gets big project rolling

Freedom Truck Centers expects summer opening for $4.5 million facility

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Freedom Truck Centers Inc., Spokanes Freightliner truck dealership, has kicked off site work on the West Plains for a long-planned sales and service facility thats expected to cost about $4.5 million to develop.

The facility is to be developed on a more than 24-acre site near the Interstate 90-Medical Lake interchange, where the company earlier had moved its new and used truck inventories and set up a modular sales building.

The construction project will include erecting two buildings, paving parking lots, and creating a collection pond for drainage, says Larry Pearson, Freedom Truck Centers general manager.

Owner Ken Cook says, This is going to be the truck interchange in Spokane.

Freedom Truck Centers property is located along the south side of I-90, at 10310 W. Westbow Boulevard. The company currently occupies a building at 5615 E. Third near the Sprague Avenue-I-90 interchange, but plans to vacate that smaller facility once the new one is completed, Pearson says.

Adairco Construction Inc., of Post Falls, is doing the site-improvement work.

Freedom Truck Centers is seeking a general contractor for the rest of the project, which will include erecting a 52,000-square-foot building in the southwest corner of the property to house the companys new-truck showroom, repair shop, and administrative offices, Pearson says. That building is expected to be completed next summer, weather permitting, he says.

It will include a repair shop with 21 service bays and a truck-wash area. Seven bays will be designated for truck repairs that require less than 90 minutes to complete, Pearson says. Truck drivers will be able to drive into one end of the repair shop and out the other, without unhooking their trailers, he says. The company currently doesnt have a designated quick-repair area at its confined Third Avenue location, he says.

Cook says that with the new facility, Freedom Truck Centers will be able to repair any problems a truck might have. It currently must use subcontractors to perform jobs such as washing or painting trucks, he says.

The company currently operates its Third Avenue repair facility 24 hours a day, five days a week, but the new repair facility will be open around the clock, seven days a week, Cook says.

To accommodate drivers who are waiting for a longer repair job to be completed, the building will include a lounge with a big screen TV, a lunch room with vending machines, a laundry room, sleeping quarters, and Internet access, Pearson says.

In addition to the repair shop and lounge area, the building will house an indoor new-truck showroom, Pearson says. It also will house the companys administrative offices and a training room, he says.

The second building, a 12,000-square-foot body shop, will be constructed in the northeast corner of the property. That building, which will include a paint booth, is expected to be completed next spring, Pearson says.

Freedom Truck Centers currently occupies an about 20,000-square-foot modular building on the site that houses its new and used truck sales offices and its administrative offices. The building will be used as a used-truck sales center once construction of the new buildings is completed, Pearson says.

Jeff Kilgore, of Kilgore Construction Co., of Colbert, Wash., will manage the construction project for Freedom Truck Centers. Lewiston, Idaho, architect Don Bott designed the project.

Freedom Truck Centers currently employs 50 people, and plans to add several more when construction of the new complex is completed, Pearson says.

The showroom and paved area outside the facility will allow the company to display more of its inventory and better facilitate the lines it sells, Cook says.

The dealership was launched in 1961, and Cook bought it in 1994. He changed its name to Freedom Truck Centers from Spokane Freightliner Inc. earlier this year.

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