Lex Brodie’s Tires in Kona is moving and expanding.
The changes will include adding a quick-lube style service that offers drive-in, drive-out oil changes, Lex Brodie’s Tires Managing Director Josh Porter said Thursday. That service is expected to open first, perhaps as early as the first quarter of 2013, as the company relocates from its current Kaiwi Street location to the corner of Kaiwi and Kuakini Highway, in the former Island Chevrolet building.
“Work on the vehicle is very fast,” Porter said, describing the quick-lube service model. “It’s a business model that currently isn’t on the island. We saw an opportunity there.”
Before the company can make the move, the Kailua Village Design Commission must sign off on the proposed design, then the company must begin the permitting process to construct a new building for the quick-lube area and remodel the existing building. Porter said the building, which Lex Brodie’s already purchased, is in a special management area, with a use permit allowing the sale and repair of vehicles. Because Lex Brodie’s is only performing vehicle repair and maintenance, the purchase and opening of a different business on the site won’t trigger a need for a new SMA permit, he said.
The original building was constructed in the late 1970s or early 1980s, he said, and was remodeled only once since.
Opening the quick-lube service will allow the company to hire about 10 new employees over the course of the first year. Doing so will also open up more space for the other kinds of tire and brake work the company’s mechanics perform, which may also translate into hiring more workers, Porter said.
The new site brings added visibility, Porter said. Marketing Director Anita Tatum noted another advantage.
“We’re so close to the athletic complex,” Tatum said, referring to the Kona Aquatic Center, located beside the site. “That’s going to be nice.”
Parents can drop off the vehicle for work while children are using the center, or while they use it themselves, she added.
Barring any major issues during the permitting and approval stages, Porter said he would like to see the full business make the move by the middle of 2013.
“If we could do it tomorrow, we would,” he added.