Move to make way for towers as Christmas Way property redevelops with offices, homes

A longtime Coquitlam car dealership has closed and is opening under a new banner to serve its Tri-City customers.

On Monday (March 14), Coquitlam Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram closed at 2960 Christmas Way, after nearly 50 years.

And today (Tuesday, March 15), the dealership reopened as Journey Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram at 1300 Dominion Ave. at Art Knapp’s former location in Port Coquitlam.

It’s an exciting transition for the company, said Jeff Kornatowsky, general manager of Coquitlam Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and one of Journey Chrysler’s partners.

“With one dealership closing permanently and the other opening the next day, Journey CDJR was very fortunate to have a full roster of experienced people to work at their new dealership,” Kornatowsky said in an email.

The move reflects changes in Coquitlam, which is planning transit-oriented development at the Christmas Way site.

Owned by Marcon Developments, the property is planned for six market residential towers, three rental towers and one office tower on the site and two adjacent properties.

Kornatowsky said the closure of the longtime Coquitlam dealership, which has sold cars since the 1970s, was bittersweet.

However, the opening of a new dealership, with some major innovations serving the car-buying public, softened the blow.

“It’s sad to leave Coquitlam after so long, but with the Skytrain coming across the street, putting the former high density/mixed use property into OCP, the writing was on the Wall.”

It took just 15 months to get the new Journey dealership up and running, from land purchase to opening, which Kornatowsky says has been incredible given the challenges of COVID-19.

However, he expects customers to be intrigued by the new store, which will feature Canada’s first custom-designed Jeep studio as well as Canada’s first Jeep store for all Jeep supplies and accessories.

Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest automaker by volume, has experimented with great success with Jeep stores in the United States, and Journey’s Jeep Store will feature branded products for vehicle updates, as well as clothing, hats, toys, outdoor items, such as tents, and off-road gear.

“It’s (we think) the only Jeep dealership in the world that has a real Jeep Store in the showroom,” said Kornatowsky, who noted that the service and parts departments also have cutting-edge innovations.

As a Ram Heavy Duty dealership, Journey’s service department will offer a 30,000-pound heavy-duty hoist for servicing the work vehicles of some of the many local light industrial companies.

Additionally, the new Journey dealership is over 30,000 square feet and includes 30,000 square feet of rooftop parking.

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