By Tricia Goecks


BELVIDERE – Manley Motors Ford Lincoln took a step forward its journey to its new home at the corner of State Street and Appleton Road in Belvidere with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 12.

The company which first moved to Belvidere in 1917 announced last October that it purchased the vacant Wolf dealership building at the corner of State and Appleton. In January, work began to demolish the building’s showroom while preserving the service and auto body areas. Manley Motors Ford Lincoln expects to move to their new home in August.

“This is the moment in our history that people will remember,” Belvidere mayor Mike Chamberlain said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We managed to save a legacy firm, utilize a building from another legacy firm, and be financed within the community. It is the best of all things”

“We certainly feel this will attract other development as the community moves forward.”

The project is financed through Alpine Bank. Sjostrom & Sons in Rockford is the general contractor, and R.B. Custom Designs in Johnsburg is the architect.

“We were excited to be selected to work on this project,” Joel Sjostrom said. “We have been supporters of Belvidere for quite awhile. We are looking forward to completing the dealership in August and having another celebration at that point.”

The new building will feature a 6,600 square foot showroom office space as well as new roof on the existing building, updated lighting and fixtures as well as a fresh coat of paint.

“It is going to be modern with all new finishes throughout the showroom,” Rick Bierman from R.B. Custom Designs said. R.B. Custom Designs has designed more than a dozen car dealership facilities in recent years.

“They put a lot into customer amenities to make the customer happy.”

Among the amenities that the new Manley Motors facility will have will be Wi-Fi capabilities so that customers can surf the net or work while they wait for their vehicles in the service area.

“It so exciting having a state of the art building will help our customers,” Joe Hamblock, general manager at Manley Motors said. “It will have much more room, which we really need.”

In addition to the showroom office addition, among the most significant changes to the facility will be the new roof added to the existing structure which was built in the 1960s and 1970s.

“It is amazing; any building that sits vacant for a couple of years and simple maintenance gets neglected, it just starts falling apart” Bierman said

Wolf Automotive lost the Chevrolet franchise dealership in 2009 when General Motors was taken over by the federal government as part of the automaker’s bankruptcy reorganization.

Despite efforts to reinvent the facility as an “almost new – pre-owned” dealership, John Wolf was forced to close the business in 2013.

Many at the groundbreaking ceremony looked forward to the developmental opportunities that having the Manley and Wolf dealerships across the street from each other at the Appleton-State Street corner.

“Both sides of the street are going to be marked with fantastic institutions for car sales,” Jarid Funderburg executive director at Growth Dimensions said. “I am glad to see Belvidere support the second oldest Ford dealership in the world.”

“It is easier to find. Right now we are off the beaten path,” Hamblock said. “There is a lot of drive by traffic from both streets. Being across from Wolf will help them and us.”

“It will bring people to Belvidere and bring money to Belvidere.”

I am very excited,” Karen Manley Kahler added. “This will bring is so much more business than our old location.

The city of Belvidere purchased the existing home of Manley Motors Ford Lincoln at 621 S. State Street. The building most likely will be demolished.

“We thank Manley Motors for finding a way to stay in our community,” Chamberlain added.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.